Wednesday, December 21, 2005 Bribes offered to Chinese newspapers not to report Sony camera ban
Shanghai. December 14. INTERFAX-CHINA - Public relations officials tried to bribe newspapers in Zhejiang Province not to publish news that six Sony digital camera models failed a quality inspection by offering to take out large subscriptions to their publications, an official with the Zhejiang Administration for Industry and Commerce said.
"Some local newspapers reported the phone calls to us," the official with the Zhejiang Administration for Industry and Commerce, who asked to remain anonymous, told Interfax.
The allegations did not specify if the calls were made by Sony employees or at the behest of the Japanese electronics giant.
A Sony spokesperson in Shanghai said the company could make no comment on the situation because the Japanese firm had no information about the allegation.
Eastern China's Zhejiang Province ordered a halt to sales of six Sony digital camera models on Monday this week because the products did not pass a quality examination conducted by the Zhejiang Administration for Industry and Commerce. The Sony cameras failed the inspection due to problems in imaging consistency and automatic exposure, the provincial government agency said. (what about casio? they will fail all of their exlim cameras)
"We are not familiar with the rules of the inspection and are currently investigating the background of the inspection," Shinji Obana, a Sony spokesperson in Shanghai, said.
Public relations officials made calls to local newspapers in Zhejiang on Monday night, offering to take out large subscriptions to their publications if they agreed not to publish news about the ban on sales of the six Sony digital camera models, Xinhua, China's official state news outlet, reported.
This offer of a large subscription would have been especially appealing to local newspapers at this time of the year, when annual subscriptions are coming up for renewal, an editor at Hangzhou Daily Group, who asked to remain anonymous, said. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province.
"All the newspapers under Hangzhou Daily Group published the Sony story," the editor said. "But it would be understandable if a newspaper did accept Sony's offer, because this is a key time for newspaper subscriptions." The editor had no personal knowledge of a Sony call to Hangzhou Daily Group.
A total of 13 digital camera models from different companies failed the inspection carried out by the Zhejiang Administration for Industry and Commerce. These models were selected in a sample inspection, but most were from Japanese companies. A total of nine Sony digital cameras were selected for the inspection, of which six failed to meet quality standards, namely the DSC-H1, DSC-L1, DSC-P200, DSC-W7, DSC-W5 and DSC-S90 models. Two of these models were made by Shanghai Suoguang Electronics Co. Ltd. (SSGE), a joint venture between Sony China, SVA Information and SVA Electron. The others were produced by Sony Electronics (Wuxi) Co. Ltd. Final inspection results for digital cameras that failed the inspection, which were produced by companies other than Sony, have not yet been released. (hint hint it's all against sony)
The Zhejiang administration's announcement about Sony's digital cameras comes at a bad time for the electronics maker. The Chinese Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, will be celebrated this year on January 28 of next year. It is the country's most important holiday and generally represents a high mark for retail sales each year in China.
The announcement by the Zhejiang administration has already had an impact at local retailers, but most are taking a wait and see attitude.
"We will keep an eye on the Sony digital cameras and once it is proved that they did not meet the national standards, we will take them off the shelves," said Zheng Yifan, an official with Yongle Appliance, one of the largest electronics retailers in China.
i think it's a whole scam targeted against sony, how can u ban a camera with bad "imaging consistency and automatic exposure". when Casio & Samsung would have failed most of their cameras in this aspect, and some chinese branded cameras arent even safe to use (e.g. they can explode)
trapped in the maze of time..8:59 PM