1.3 billion people. One of the world’s most coveted markets.
The Chinese marketplace is one that most companies will work hard to get into. And the expectation is that when they do, they are ready to do business.
With mobile technology being such a dominant force in Asian markets, this goes double for smartphones. So, the suggestion that Samsung Galaxy Note 7s in China may show the same overheating behaviors that have plagued the U.S. and South Korea has the company reeling.
Although issuing a global recall, Samsung has refused to include phones from China claiming they do not contain the affected battery. Samsung’s failure to act in China has consumers there, as well as the Chinese government, incredibly angry.
In the face of a well-publicized global recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7s, the timeline of all of this may be confusing. Samsung did, in fact, issue one. In the U.S., that was initially a voluntary action on Samsung’s part since specifics and logistics of a recall can only be implemented once a CPSC recall has also been announced.
But Samsung included an asterisk in that global recall announcement. Specifically, they said that Galaxy Note 7s sold in China were manufactured using parts from a different supplier and, as a result, were perfectly safe.
That may not have been entirely true.
At least one report of an exploding Galaxy Note 7 in China has been received, opening the door to the possibility of a new flood of cases in one of the largest mobile phone markets on the planet.
Samsung has stated that they are in contact with the Chinese customer and will “conduct a thorough examination of the device in question” once it is received.
In the meantime, the Chinese government has had little difficulty using state-controlled media to make known its displeasure with Samsung. Accusing the company of discrimination, the Chinese government has publicly questioned why Samsung has issued apologies in the U.S., yet only made short statements in China that take no responsibility for the problem. Samsung Galaxy Note 7s were also banned from at least one government office in the country.
Problems with a China launch were widely considered to be a worst case scenario for Samsung. They have angered the people and the government, all while not yet knowing how many other phones in the country may, in fact, be faulty and potentially dangerous. It seems as though the issues in the U.S. market may have been just the tip of the iceberg.