Latest reports confirm that Samsung has stopped an online campaign in Taiwan in the midst of being probed whether it financed the negative reviews of its rivals' products. Bloomberg reports that Samsung said in a statement that the situation was unfortunate as it had stopped using anonymous comments in online marketing last year itself.
The report added that Samsung's communications credo disallows it to criticise its competitors and their products. Samsung, in its statement, added that the situation was a result of insufficient understanding of these fundamental priniciples that involve it engaging in a transparent and honest communications with its consumers.
It was reported yesterday that Samsung was being accused of hiring people to post fake reviews for HTC phones in Taiwan. HTC has said that Samsung's tactics have maligned the name of the company and tarnished the products, especially the HTC One.
Samsung accused of criticising HTC products
After receiving a series of complaints, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission is probing Samsung over false advertising. Although precise details of the derogatory remarks aren’t confirmed yet, Samsung is being accused of recruiting students to post malicious comments and also write articles recommending Samsung and criticising HTC.
While Samsung holds nearly 40 percent of the global smartphone market share, HTC has a meagre 4.6 percent of the pie. Both have products that closely compete in terms of specifications. Samsung’s 2012 flagship Galaxy S3 competes with the HTC One X+ while the recently-announced Galaxy S4 competes with the current HTC flagship One. Both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One have generated lot of buzz ever since their launch. While the HTC One is expected to hit Indian stores later this month for Rs 42,000, the Galaxy S4 will be reportedly available in the grey markets by April 22 for somewhere around Rs 60,000.
According to AFP, Fair Trade Commission spokesman Sun Lih-chyun revealed that the case was set up last week after they received complaints. If the ruling finds Samsung guilty, then the company and its local advertiser could face a fine of up to $25 million New Taiwan Dollars (approximately 4.5cr) for false advertising. Samsung Taiwan claimed that the company hasn’t been informed about the investigation by Fair Trade Commission. However, they’ve put up a Facebook page regretting “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event”. Further, the Facebook page also claims that Samsung Taiwan has ceased all the marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments.
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