Apple Caves, Issues Public Apology To China With Promise To Improve

Man looks at iPhone (Reuters)
The customer is always right. Even in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has realized that this business mantra is true. The customer is always right, even if they insist on double standards -- one for domestic companies, another for foreign -- and even if they're whiny, and even if they can't be trusted. The customer is always right -- so on Monday, Cook, on behalf of Apple, issued an apology to Chinese consumers on its website, after "deep reflection." "We express our sincerest apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings," he wrote (translated into Chinese).

Did CCTV Buy Out Taiwanese Actor Peter Ho, Among Others, To Publish Weibo Post Criticizing Apple?

Peter Ho Sina Weibo
Peter Ho, a popular Taiwanese-American actor and singer, is successful and rich enough that he probably doesn’t need to supplement his income by selling out favors to companies like CCTV, but then how would you explain this? Check out the bottom message, posted on Sina Weibo just after 8:30 pm, according to SCMP. Pay especially... Read more »

Foxconn Workers May Soon Vote For Their Own Leaders

(Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)
Foxconn workers who make the iPhone and other hi-tech products have been in a great number of headlines over the past few years without eliciting change. But when fights between workers and management broke out and paralyzed assembly lines in Zhengzhou last year, Chinese authorities started looking for solutions to the constant disputes. According to the Financial Times:

iPhones For Everyone! Apple Opens Payment Plan Option For China Customers In Push For Market Share

Apple in China
MacRumors (via Bloomberg) is reporting that Apple has introduced a payment plan allowing buyers to purchase Apple products on three-month to two-year plans on products that cost between 300 and 30,000 RMB (basically everything). At this point, looking at the plan, it seems that one must have a Merchants Bank credit card to take advantage... Read more »

Apple sells 2 million iPhones in China in three days, but Android is still dominating the market

Apple sucks Android, really
Despite the iPhone 5′s seemingly chilly reception at its December 14 launch — it was a non-event at the Beijing Apple Store, where fights occurred at the last product unveiling — sales have nonetheless been brisk. Over 2 million units were sold in three days, according to Apple’s press release. “Customer response to iPhone 5... Read more »

Chinese Woman In New Hampshire Tasered At Apple Store

New Hampshire woman tasered
A Chinese national trying to buy iPhones in Nashua, New Hampshire was tasered outside an Apple Store last Friday. A cell phone video shows 44-year-old Li Xiaojie being held to the ground before police knocked her unconscious with tasers. Her 12-year-old daughter was with her. Li was at Pheasant Lane Mall to buy her third and fourth iPhones,... Read more »

iPhone Thief Says How ‘Bout Dem Apples!

This story made us chuckle. Via Global Times: According to a report on the Taiwan-based NOWnews website, the man surnamed Luo, 27, is an engineer in Hsinchu, and the woman surnamed Lin, 21, lives in New Taipei City. // Luo and Lin became acquainted in an Internet chat room at the end of last year. // In... Read more »

Was There A Massive Strike At A Foxconn Factory Yesterday?

Foxconn strike?
Has unrest again hit Foxconn? New York-based advocacy group China Labor Watch reports that yesterday at about 1 pm in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, “three to four thousand production workers” went on strike after Foxconn demanded they work holidays and “raised overly strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding... Read more »

Now That You Know When The iPhone 5 Is Shipping, Listen To Leslie T. Chang Talk About The People Behind The Products

Leslie T Chang Ted Talk
I know it can be difficult sometimes to click on a 15-minute video, but this TEDTalk is both timely and worth it -- timely because Apple held its iPhone 5 unveiling yesterday in San Francisco, and worth it because Leslie T. Chang is awesome. She's best known for Factory Girls, by far the best book I've encountered about the people -- the actual people -- who live and work in the factories that churn out much of the world's retail goods.

Chinese Zither? Yeah, There’s An App For That

Chinese Zither? Yeah, There’s An App For That featured image
Alert: If you're a musician who knows how to play the guzheng, you should make a video, because it'll have a very good chance of going viral. First there was the Adele cover, followed by the Titanic theme song, then that "cultured Chengdu guard." Now? Just a traditional Chinese guzheng song... on iPads.

The Most Expensive iPad And iPhone In The World: It Cost A Boy A Kidney He Now Wants — But Can’t Have — Back

Boy sells kidney for iPad featured image
We're about a day late with this story that's tearing up the Chinese Internet: a 17-year-old boy sold his kidney for 22,000 yuan in Anhui province, then used the money to buy an iPad2 and iPhone (model unspecified). The AP writes, rather understatedly, "The case has prompted an outpouring of concern that not enough is being done to guard against the negative impact of increasing consumerism in Chinese society."

Mike Daisey Owes An Apology To A Lot Of People

Mike Daisey
Picture via Mark Gimein’s post at Bloomberg Businessweek in which he essentially retracts his original review: “Usually, ‘art’ is art and ‘journalism’ is journalism. When the two meet, it’s rarely on the same stage. An exception is the work of monologuist Mike Daisey.” Mike Daisey is not a China expert. This should be abundantly clear, because... Read more »