Previously, a number of Chinese celebrities criticized Apple on microblogging site Sina Weibo -- however, it is alleged that the messages were paid for and part of a coordinated attempt to stir up an anti-Apple backlash amongst the Chinese public.
Today's article, published in The People's Daily newspaper, criticized Apple for declining journalists' requests for interviews, and called a press release the company issued "empty and self-praising". For years, Apple has been extremely selective when it comes to granting interviews.
Though it can be difficult to predict government behavior based on news coverage in China's state-run media, analysts said the string of attacks suggested that the government is considering doing more to encourage the growth of domestic smartphone companies and eat away at dominant foreign companies, such as Apple.The incidents reflect more on a changing Chinese approach to foreign companies, rather than some specific reflection on Apple itself. China is Apple's second largest market after the U.S., and the company has been aggressive in expanding there.
The criticism means "that in establishment circles, there is a level of acceptance that it is OK to go against this company, which can mean there's trouble down the road," said Jeremy Goldkorn, director of Danwei.org, which researches Chinese media.
The Chinese government has targeted other foreign companies including Volkswagen and KFC in recent months.
Note: Due to the controversial nature of this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.