China State Media Broadcast Targets Apple, Backfires

Created: 2013-03-18 13:22 EST

Category: China > China Focus

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Retailers in China have a reason to beware the Ides of March. Every year in China on March 15, state-run CCTV broadcasts a widely watched program in honor of World Consumer Rights Day. It’s a mixture of jazzy intros about consumer rights, song-and-dance numbers about things like the abundance of fake products in China, and hidden-camera exposes that unmask shady business practices. 

The companies featured in the show suffer a blow. And it’s not just Chinese companies that get called out. This year, the show did an expose on Apple, saying that consumers in China were treated worse than those in other countries. Now predictably, China’s internet lit up with criticism of Apple. But one actor’s microblog on Weibo showed Chinese netizens that not everything about the Apple backlash was as it seemed. And that the show that unmasks shady business practices may be getting up to some shady business of its own.