China is Apple’s largest market, and internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn explains in China File why its troubles are far from over, after the recent upheaval about the Chinese media attack on its customer’ service. The state-sponsored attacks will continue, he tells, for example on its vulnerable iTunes service.
China is the major part of [Apple’s] growth plans, and they need to do everything they can to stop hostile attitudes towards their company and products from the Chinese government and official media. I don’t think Chinese consumers are very upset about the problems CCTV exposed, but the government could very easily make Apple’s China dreams impossible to realize
If Apple does not act contrite, there are thousands of other issues that CCTV or other state actors could attack them on, starting with the apps and content on their iTunes store: To this day the iTunes is the greatest Trojan horse of foreign content that any foreign media or tech company has managed to sneak into the People’s Republic without serious scrutiny.
Despite the apology, I expect Apple will continue to meet hostility from official organs in the coming years – their government and public relations teams are going to have to earn their keep.
China’s media are changing very fast, not only at home, but also expand into the rest of the world. The China Weekly Hangout discussed on March 7 how they try to conquer Africa. A session with veteran journalists Eric Olander of the China Africa Project, and Lara Farrar, previously working for both the China Daily and CNN. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.