The article accuses the company of declining requests for interviews and an "empty and self-praising" response to a critical television report from the national television station. The article was accompanied by a cartoon figure representing the company saying, "Apple statement: empty."
It's thought that the Chinese government may now be trying to limit the growth of foreign smartphone companies in favor of local ones such as: Lenovo, Huawei, and ZTE.
This criticism of Apple 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.
The television report accused Apple of skirting warranty periods and instituting customer service policies in China that differed from those around the world. Apple posted a message to its website in an attempt to clarify the policy saying that customers' iPhones are fixed with new components but they reattach the original back cover. It also said that a 90-day guarantee is provided on repairs which is longer than the 30 days required by law.
The People's Daily article reportedly complained about "double standards" for Chinese customers because Apple replaces broken phones in other countries but repairs them in China.