Despite an internet campaign to pressure the Chinese government to overlook Apple's dubious warranty practices, it looks like Apple fanboys behind the bamboo curtain will have to be protected from the company after all.
China Central Television ran a story pointing out that Apple operated a policy about the replacement of phones in China which it did not do elsewhere in the world. Basically if a phone broke, Apple would fix it rather than replace it. The warranty period was also much shorter.
Immediately after the story broke, Apple fanboys rushed to the web to attack the programme, mostly over how it marketed itself using celebrity advertising. They were joined by many in the press who reported the fanboy campaign, but not the dodgy warranty claims.
Now it seems all that has come to naught. According to Reuters, Apple has now had a chunk taken out of its iRump by a Chinese marketplace regulator, which called for stronger supervision of the outfit.
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce urged authorities to protect consumers' rights in accordance with the law. The notice mentions Apple but stops short of specifying what exactly they need to go after and how to do so.
While the Apple fanboy campaign was reported in the West, in China other media outlets have since taken up the baton, focusing on the company's warranty policy on Mac laptops, which is much shorter than in other countries.
The Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, ran an editorial earlier this week attacking Apple for its "unparalleled arrogance".
Apple insists that its warranty policies were roughly the same worldwide with specific adjustments to adhere to Chinese law. However, this is clearly not the case. In Europe, Apple has been fighting to keep its one year warranty in the face of stiff EU criticism. In Italy it has been forced to double the length of its warranty period and it is likely it will have to do so in other European countries.