BEIJING - Samsung in China has chosen a very different approach from the company's global stance of apology alongside exchange and refund options for the Note7 crisis: Namely, blaming the flaming phones on "external heating". But now a report aired by CCTV has strongly refuted those questionable claims.
An earlier review from Samsung China supervising an independent lab called China Taier Laboratory (CTTL) said exploded phones from Chinese users "did not have battery flaws" and "probably were damaged by external heating", meaning heat sources outside the phones.
Despite the obvious logical flaw in this explanation (if the Note7 were not flawed, surely we would see other brands and models of phones blowing up), Samsung China said the results were corroborated by another lab, Exponent Laboratory. On 19 September and 29 September, Samsung China issued statements about these conclusions on its official Weibo account.
However, in a program about consumer advocacy that aired yesterday, China’s powerful state-run broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), criticised the way Samsung tested the phones.
CCTV paid for another round of testing by the same independent Taier lab, using the phones of two vocal local consumers (Zhang Sitong from Liaoning and Hui Renjie from Guangdong) who experienced Note7 meltdowns.
This inspection found no evidence of external heating (please see the above gallery of the report pages in Chinese). In fact, the report stated that damage was caused by "spontaneous combustion" at the lower right corner of the battery inside the phone. X-ray and CT (computed tomography) imaging of the internal structure of the battery showed melted traces of aluminum, according to the report.
Samsung China has not issued any new statements as of this morning.
Chinese consumers have already been angered by their exclusion from Samsung’s global recall of 2.5 million Note 7 smartphones. And even though the South Korean company killed off the hazardous flagship on 12 October, it is just the beginning of what has become the brand’s biggest crisis to date.