Chinese state media sets sights on Samsung

Oct 22, 2013
A Samung shop in Seoul on July 5, 2013

China's state-run broadcaster launched a broadside against South Korean electronics giant Samsung, the latest foreign brand to be castigated by authorities in the world's second-largest economy.

In a 30-minute investigative programme featuring interviews with consumers and repairmen, state-run China Central Television criticised Samsung for producing "faulty" smartphones, arguing that the manufacturer's Galaxy S and Note series handsets are liable to freeze-up due to a software problem.

The show also took aim at Samsung's warranty policy. It quoted the firm as saying it would investigate the issues raised.

The lengthy investigation into Samsung, the most popular smartphone brand in China, was broadcast on Monday, a day after the state broadcaster aired another show accusing US coffee chain Starbucks of overcharging its Chinese customers.

Starbucks responded that its different operating costs in cities across the globe render "inaccurate" any comparisons in the prices of its drinks in different markets.

Earlier this year, Chinese state media took aim at tech giant Apple, accusing the US company of "unparalleled arrogance" in its warranty policy and customer service in China—a barrage of criticism that halted soon after the company's CEO, Tim Cook, apologised.

The clampdowns are partly an official response to public frustration over high prices for imported goods, analysts say, but by singling out largely overseas firms they have raised alarm in the foreign business community.

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