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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have been on the butt end of a smear campaign by Chinese media, but instead the media may have been the smear-receiver.
China Central Television, or CCTV, ran a World Consumer Rights Day program that sought to challenge Apple’s integrity, claiming that the iPhone maker treated Chinese consumers with bias in its warranty and customer service.
Following the broadcast, Taiwanese-American actor Peter Ho had activity on his Twitter-like Sina Weibo account that resounded with the sentiment of the CCTV program. However, Ho later said he had didn’t know where his posts came from, and supposed that his account had been hacked.
But, rather than seeing Weibo users take up arms against Apple in heated discussions about its biased behavior, users turned to the posts on Ho’s account and spoke out against what was being said. Mistrust may be growing in China against state-run media among internet users with alternative media outlets they can turn to for news.
CCTV has regularly broadcast programs that disparage foreign companies, but that may no longer be effective, as Qiao Mu, director of the Center for International Communication Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said, “the credibility for CCTV is hitting a bad point.”
Apple may be safe from the slam by CCTV, and instead have even less to worry about in the growing Chinese market, as more consumers may come to question the validity of broadcasts about foreign companies and instead choose to trust the brands.
Here’s how Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has traded over the past 5 trading sessions:
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