Starbucks and Samsung have both come under fire for allegedly bullying Chinese customers and over-charging them, in the latest attack by Chinese media on global companies,
China Central Television (CCTV) and China Daily have alleged that Starbucks is making consumers pay more for its products in China compared to other markets including the US.
Earlier this year, CCTV accused iPhone maker Apple of treating its Chinese customers as "second-class" by not repairing their iPhones free of charge.
Lending credence to its allegation, The CCTV news report said that compared to $3.20 in Chicago and $4 in London, a medium size latte in China costs 27 yuan or $4.40. The report also said, the branded Starbucks coffee-mug, which is manufactured in China, is sold at $18 to Chinese customers whereas the product is sold for between $10 and $14 in the US.
People walk past a Starbucks coffee store at Qianmen Commercial Street in central Beijing.
Starbucks responed, saying the reports were "inaccurate." The company spokesman Jim Olson stated that higher prices in China reflected higher local costs for employee training and sourcing. He also said customers in China will often stay longer in a Starbucks outlet, compared to customers in the west, which necessitates a much larger floor space.
"Our prices in China are comparable, and in some cases even lower than our competitors in the market," Olson said.
Samsung is also under attack. Reuters reports that CCTV has blamed the South Korean Electronics manufacturer for charging customers extra to repair under warranty smartphones with manufacturing defects.
Samsung said in a statement: "We remain committed to providing the highest quality products and services. Upon verification of these reports, including their technical aspects, we will respond accordingly."
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