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Apple's response to Chinese warranty complaint draws ire

A campaign against Apple's warranty practices in China has taken center stage, with a state-run media outlet calling the company's statement "empty and self-praising."


Apple's warranty practices, and dealings with journalists, have brought the ire of one of China's largest media outlets.

Earlier today, The People's Daily -- which is owned by the Communist Party of China -- ran a story criticizing the iPhone and Mac maker for its response to issues raised about its warranty practices in the country.

Those issues came about during a TV segment on state-run network China Central Television Station earlier this month which claimed Apple repaired only broken or otherwise faulty parts within its products for customers in China, versus providing replacements in other countries. In an online response, Apple said it highly respected China's customers, and fully complied with local laws and regulations.

That wasn't good enough for The People's Daily, which in a front page story earlier today (spotted by The Wall Street Journal) lambasted Apple for not responding to interview requests on the issue. It also referred to the company's statement as "empty and self-praising."

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Apple's product warranty has been under fire outside the U.S. before, though especially Europe. The company was fined multiple times in Italy over its AppleCare warranty service, which extends beyond the company's one-year warranty. Local law required a warranty period of two years, something that led to regulators hounding Apple to change its disclosures of the product.

More recently, the European Union urged member states to look into warranty practices by Apple, and noted that Denmark, Finland, and Luxembourg were currently in the midst of investigations. Late last week, the EU was also said to be scrutinizing Apple's agreements with European wireless carriers over possible antitrust violations.

Apple's growth in China has been the fastest of any region, enough so that Apple this year changed its financial reporting to break it out from other nearby countries. The company had sales of $6.83 billion in Greater China in its last reported quarter, up from $4.08 billion the same quarter the year before. That was buoyed by sales of the iPhone that were twice that of the previous quarter.