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Samsung Misled China By Saying Exploding Phones Were Safe

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Even after many reports of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 exploding, catching fire, and melting, the company told customers in China that their devices were not dangerous because the batteries were from a different supplier.

Samsung stopped shipments of the mobile device in late August, and then completely ceased production last week.

Certain reports claim that the Hong Kong version of the Note 7 was manufactured in China, while other versions were produced in Vietnam or South Korea. Samsung Hong Kong said that phones in the area are unaffected, according to a Facebook post.

The tech company is the only known smartphone manufacturer that is allowed to test their phone batteries in-house, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Regardless of the claim that the devices sent to China were made with different parts, Samsung recalled the phones in the country last week after several reports of phones catching fire there too.

The company “would like to apologize for any misunderstandings this may have caused the Chinese consumers due to an unclear communication in the process,” according to a statement given to The New York Times. “To Samsung, China is one of the most important markets and a crucial destination for foreign investment. Samsung never holds a double standard against them.”

Other phone companies like Huawei Technologies, Xiaomi, which also face reports of devices exploding, are controlling much of the market share. Samsung, a South Korean company, is falling behind, which is not so surprising since the country (both the people, and more so the government) typically support China-based companies.

“Foreign companies who appear to employ any less favorable policy for the China market can quickly find themselves waist-deep in a P.R. quagmire,” Mark Natkin of Marbridge Consulting, an advisory firm in Beijing, told The NYT.

“Those who have navigated the Chinese market most successfully are the companies that have understood they can’t win every battle and that sometimes, to maintain a happy relationship, it’s better just to say: ‘I’m sorry. I love you,'” Natkin continued.

Samsung is undergoing a spate of criticism over the exploding Galaxy Note 7, but there are reports of other Samsung devices combusting and igniting.

Marie Terrio told The Daily Caller News Foundation that her Samsung S6 Active cell phone started “crackling and sizzling” while in her front left pocket.

“My leg looked black and the pain was unbelievable,” she said.

A man from California is suing Samsung after suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns. His Galaxy S7 Edge mobile device exploded and caused his boxers and pants to become engulfed in flames. His clothes were ultimately seared into his leg.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still allowed the Galaxy Note 7 on the plane in September as long as the phone was not charging and was turned off. The government agency officially announced last week that it would implement a full ban of the device.

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