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Apple issues safety reminder on chargers

By Zhu Shenshen (Shanghai Daily)

17:07, July 29, 2013

Apple Inc issued a safety reminder yesterday and advised customers to choose authorized products in China, following the report of a death from electric shock linked to a third-party iPhone charger.

Apple's quick response reflected the importance of the China market to the company, especially given that it was criticized by a CCTV report on after-sales policies in March, industry insiders said.

Apple offered customers a guide to identify authentic iPhone and iPad chargers and encouraged its customers to use the chargers and power cables approved by the company in the statement published on Apple China's website.

"Our customers' safety is very important to us and we have carefully designed all Apple products to meet government safety standards. We recommend our customers only purchase Apple products from Apple or authorized Apple resellers," the company's statement said.

The 23-year-old Ma Ailun, former flight attendant for China Southern Airlines, was found dead with her iPhone by her side and a charger attached three weeks ago in northwest China. A 30-year-old Beijing man was in a coma after he got an electric shock while trying to recharge his iPhone last week with a third-party charger.

In March, CCTV criticized Apple's warranty policies. Then Apple improved the policies and Tim Cook, the company's chief executive, apologized to customers in China.

After that, Apple was seen to ramp up public relations efforts in China. Apple agreed to "look into the case" immediately after the death and coma reports, even though the chargers were not Apple products.

An iPhone charger costs about 200 yuan (US$32.30). An unauthorized charger costs less than 20 yuan on Taobao, the country's biggest auction website.

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