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Chinese Regulator Goes after Apple

While Apple has been continually praising China and going all out in its efforts to woo Chinese customers, it seems to have cut little ice with those in power.

On Thursday, the China National Radio, the official radio station of the Chinese government mentioned the name of Apple when citing a notice from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce that urged authorities protect legal rights of consumers. The website report of China National Radio mentioned Apple but did not go into the details of what lapses the authorities needed to pursue and how to do that.

This is a common enough situation for companies that trade in public stock in U.S. – they come under the ambits of FCPA, preventing them from sending “fruit baskets,” and in many places in Asia, not receiving regular “fruit baskets” can signify intentional breach of protocol and arrogance.

In fact, on Wednesday, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Daily, criticized Apple for exhibiting “unparalleled arrogance.”

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Earlier this month, on the state owned China Central Television, Apple was targeted in an annual exposure of corporate malpractice. From then on, other media outlets have kept up criticizing Apple and holding that Apple’s warranty policy on Mac laptops for Chinese consumers was discriminatory.

However, on Saturday, Apple said it respected Chinese consumers and the warranty policies that were being criticized were approximately the same as those the company used across the world in other countries, with changes to accommodate Chinese legal requirements.

While Apple continues to look towards China to fuel the company’s sales and not only its production, it seems much remains to be done by the company to gain the support it requires in the region. While some Internet users have sympathized with Apple in China, by and large, such support carries little weight when the state machinery is against you in China.

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