Another recall, another angry Chinese reaction.
When Samsung recalled 1 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the U.S., Korea, and other markets earlier this month, China was not included in the list. The company said the battery type used in China was different than those used in the smartphones recalled elsewhere. But Chinese online users reacted angrily, saying the company was treating China with a double standard. “Samsung was finally punched in the face!” read one headline.
A similar episode occurred in July, when another angry Chinese online contingent said Ikea was too slow in recalling dressers that had a tendency to tip over in North America. Blame for that delayed recall fell on Chinese regulators, who are slower than their Western compatriots in demanding product recalls.
This time, it’s not clearly the fault of Chinese regulators. And Samsung appears to have a good point: it only needed to announce a Chinese recall of 1,858 Galaxy Note 7 phones, because that’s how many were produced with the faulty battery.
But the episode doesn’t make the regulators or Samsung look good, either.
The State Administration of Quality Supervision Administration of Quality Supervision Law Enforcement Division said it met with Samsung only after regulators in the U.S. found the Galaxy Note 7’s battery tended to blow up.
Again, China was slow to demand a recall. But again, a foreign company waited until after meeting with Chinese regulators to lead a recall in a country that, in this case, is the world’s largest market for the products.
Again, Chinese online users were angry.