Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

“A Convenient Whipping Boy”

Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, the Economist:

On March 15th, World Consumer Rights Day, a much-watched annual programme on CCTV, the official broadcaster, attacked Apple’s policies and practices in China. The suggestion was that the greedy firm treated locals as second-class citizens. This week, the People’s Daily, a party mouthpiece, launched a series of vitriolic attacks that accused the firm of “unparalleled arrogance.”

It is not unusual for foreign companies to come under occasional attack in China. Sometimes, this is well deserved—as when, last year, KFC was exposed for supply-chain lapses that led chickens of dubious quality to be served in its restaurants. But the CCTV exposé, which discussed warranty-repair policies, did not find anything remotely as rotten at the core of Apple’s China business. So what is really behind all this?