Here are some highlights from Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook's apology and explanation about the company's repair and warranty policies in China, followed by excerpts from recent stories in the Chinese press:
On Apple's admitted missteps:
"To our valued customers in China: In the past two weeks, we have received a significant amount of feedback about our repair and warranty practices in China. We have thoughtfully considered the feedback, carefully reviewed the return, repair and replacement policies with regulators, and examined how we communicate our hardware warranties as well as manage our service provider compliance. In the process of studying the issues, we recognize that some people may have viewed our lack of communication as arrogant, or as a sign that we didn't care about or value their feedback. We sincerely apologize to our customers for any concern or confusion we may have caused."
On Apple's commitment to do better:
"We recognize that we have much to learn about operating and communicating in China, but we want to assure everyone that we bring the same deep commitment and passion to China as we do to any other part of the world. This commitment, a desire to delight all of our customers and provide them with an extremely high-quality experience, is deeply rooted in the
culture of our company. And we will not rest until we achieve this goal."
On the company's new repair-replacement policy in China, which is now better than its repair-replacement policy in the United States:
"If a customer's iPhone cannot be repaired quickly by replacing a component, then Apple provides a repair subassembly, consisting of all-new parts attached to the back of the customer's existing iPhone 4 or 4S. However, it has been suggested that since the repair subassembly is nearly a full replacement, it would be better for our customers to receive a replacement unit instead. So, starting this month, Apple will upgrade our iPhone 4 and 4S service kits to full replacement units with all-new parts and a new one-year warranty starting from the date of replacement."
On Apple's customer-service track record in China:
"Customer satisfaction, which is our most important measure of success, has been exceptionally high for these repairs -- almost 90 percent on average."
From China Daily on Sunday:
"The China Consumer's Association (CCA) has asked Apple Inc. to 'sincerely apologize to Chinese consumers' and 'thoroughly correct its problems,' after the US firm took little action to address waves of criticism. The CCA said that, in 2012, it twice urged Apple to properly handle the complaints but only received halfhearted replies, with the real problems unsolved."
"Even after the March 15 CCTV show, Apple released only a 200-character statement saying it is dedicated to making first-class products and attaches high importance to every consumer's ideas. Netizens labeled it a 'typical official reply full of empty talk.' "
"Analysts said Apple arrogance is sustained by its strong market presence in China. Its innovative products and aggressive marketing strategy have made it fearless of consumers' frowns."
From People's Daily on Monday:
"It remains to be seen whether this global tech giant will be pressurized to respond to the complaints, as China market becomes an ever-bigger part of its global operation."
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