Communist Chinese media mouthpiece bashes Apple again

Is Apple turning into one of China's most hated companies? That seems to be the intent of a state-orchestrated media campaign.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
2 min read
Apple store in Shanghai Jay Greene/CNET
Three's usually a charm -- but not when you're talking about the government of China and Apple. For the third day running, the country's state-controlled media has taken a swipe at Apple, ostensibly over its warranty policy.

The Wall Street Journal refers to an article in the People's Daily, which describes Apple's defense of its policy as "arrogant." While that description might not shock people who follow the company closely, it's unclear why the official state organs have decided to cuff Apple around.

Under the heading "Apple unmoved by repairs complaints" in its March 26 edition, the People's Daily complains that Apple's "Chinese consumers are being given a rough ride" when it comes to dealing with the company's repairs and warranty policies.

In China, consumers can have the electronics replaced but not the outer-casing. Some think that's unfair. In an announcement on its website on Saturday, Apple denied discriminatory practice in China. But the company didn't refer to the specific allegations over the non-replacement of the outer casing.

According to The Wall Street Journal's dispatch, the financial magazine Caijing followed up on the People's Daily piece with its query:

Playing on the title of the People's Daily article -- "Smash Apple's 'Incomparable' Arrogance" -- Caijing wrote on its account early Wednesday morning: "As a consumer, which arrogant company or companies do you want to smash? Please give specific names so that we can announce a top 10."
Meanwhile, Apple has been on a nonstop tear in China. During the company's first fiscal quarter of 2013, the Greater China region's quarterly rose to $6.83 billion from $4.08 billion a year earlier. Indeed, China, which is Apple's fastest-growing region, accounted for 15 percent of the company's revenue last quarter.