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Samsung hired students to negatively review HTC in Taiwan

by Mark Tyson on 16 April 2013, 14:48

Tags: HTC (TPE:2498), Samsung (005935.KS), PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabu4v

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Taiwanese trade officials are investigating a case in which Samsung is accused of hiring students to post negative reviews and comments about phones made by HTC. If Samsung is found guilty of this underhand and deceptive endeavour in Taiwan it faces fines equivalent to about half a million pounds. Samsung Taiwan’s official Facebook page has already admitted the marketing misconduct.

Kick a man when he’s down

A site called TaiwanSamsungLeaks published documents that are allegedly from Samsung’s marketing team, listing its hired guns’ negative forum posts upon various tech and gadget sites. The site has accused Samsung of “evil marketing” practices. Examples of the Samsung’s secretly ‘sponsored’ posts include users complaining about constant crashing of their HTC handsets and posting favourable selected benchmark results showing Samsung products as superior.

A statement upon Samsung Taiwan’s Facebook page admitted the skulduggery and said it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event.” Furthermore “Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites” according to the same statement. In addition the BBC received a statement from Samsung saying the “unfortunate incident” went against the company’s “fundamental principles”.

Just over week ago HTC posted another in a series of disappointing financial results, showing a fall in revenue of 37 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2012. HTC had hoped for better results with the launch of its critically acclaimed HTC One smartphone. However the company had a bit of difficulty with parts shortages, particularly the camera sensor.

Samsung is worried the Galaxy S4 doesn’t measure up to the HTC One

Why would Samsung target HTC over and above the likes of Apple, LG, Sony and Nokia? Only yesterday Cnet reported that Samsung is “green with envy” over the HTC One’s design and build quality. An “all-metal” Galaxy S4 was made for internal company testing and was very popular with execs, says Cnet’s source. The tech site speculates that Samsung will debut an all-metal design spearheaded by the next Galaxy Note phablet. The Note 3 “will not use the design guidelines of the Galaxy S4”.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will hit UK retail on 26th April. The HTC One is available now in the UK on various contracts and SIM free offers.



HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Why can't they be more like Apple and just get people to write critical reviews of competitors products they've not used for free?
TheAnimus
Why can't they be more like Apple and just get people to write critical reviews of competitors products they've not used for free?
That burn. wait: Samsung envious? I think they are kicking themselves. From a company that was like Apple in terms of product design, we now have professional envy…
Naughty, Samsung… Have a bit more class.
A site called TaiwanSamsungLeaks published documents that are allegedly from Samsung’s marketing team, listing its hired guns’ negative forum posts upon various tech and gadget sites. The site has accused Samsung of “evil marketing” practices.
That stinks … even though I've got two Samsung devices (phone and tablet - and I like both) my opinion is that the Taiwanese authorities need to stamp this kind of Dick Dastardly practice out before it gets popular - nice big fine (i.e. bigger than £1m) should do it.
A statement upon Samsung Taiwan’s Facebook page admitted the skulduggery and said it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event.” Furthermore “Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites” according to the same statement. In addition the BBC received a statement from Samsung saying the “unfortunate incident” went against the company’s “fundamental principles”.
The “fundamental principle” presumably being “if you're going to do something underhand and evil, then don't get caught doing it”? ;)

I'm thinking that this could backfire badly on Samsung - after all, if they're worried enough about the HTC One to try and smear it like this then it's obviously because it IS a superior device.

And no, I'm not an HTC fanboy (before anyone levels that accusation) - never owned anything by them.
An “all-metal” Galaxy S4 was made for internal company testing and was very popular with execs, says Cnet’s source. The tech site speculates that Samsung will debut an all-metal design spearheaded by the next Galaxy Note phablet. The Note 3 “will not use the design guidelines of the Galaxy S4”.
Not sure I'd necessarily want an all metal phone - but if the S4 uses the same back design as the S3 then I'd DEFINITELY want that changed. The dictionary definition of “flimsy” could be “Samsung Galaxy S3 phone back”. Shame, because the rest of the phone is pretty solid.
I think if this is found to be true then Samsung need to make an advertising campaign that apologises for this bad conduct. It is so easy for the general public to miss news like this so a fine is likely to have little effect on the practise; instead of being forced to cough up thousands or millions of pounds they should be forced to spend that sort of money on marketing that corrects the false information they have spread.