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Samsung Facing Probe for False Advertising in Taiwan

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

Samsung is being probed by Taiwanese officials and may be facing fines of up to 25 million Taiwanese dollars (USD 840,000).

The story of Samsung's response to HTC's new flagship smartphone, the One, seems to be rapidly approaching the "stranger than fiction" category. It's now clear that the fallout from the company's "advertising strategy" may involve legal sanctions since the company is now being probed by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission for "false advertising."

If found guilty, the company could face penalties of up to 25 million Taiwanese dollars (USD 840,000), making it the third time in recent years that the company has been fined by Taiwanese authorities for its marketing. For those who haven't been following this story as it unfolded over the past week, allow us to provide a brief summary of its events.

Earlier last week, TaiwanSamsungLeaks.org accused the company of engaging in "evil marketing" and released a plethora of documents that supposedly indicated that Samsung's marketing division had hired students to post negative comments about the HTC One on a number of tech / gadget websites that linked to favorably selected benchmark results. Also, it was alleged that the phone experienced a host of problems including, but not limited to, constant crashing.

TSL's allegations were subsequently confirmed on Samsung Taiwan’s Facebook Page. In a statement to the BBC in which the company announced that it had "ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments." Furthermore, Samsung would engage in employee training to ensure that these events were not repeated, and they promised that “future marketing work would be more in line with its company philosophy of transparency and honesty.”

Though this form of advertising conduct is certainly nothing new, we still cannot fathom why the company, or rather individuals within the company, felt a need to stoop to this level, possibly damaging Samsung's reputation as well as incurring significant legal penalties. After all, Samsung currently holds a comfortable 21.4 percent share of the smartphone market; is expecting the Galaxy S IV to be yet another success; and its rival, HTC, on top of its rather dismal financial results, is even facing problems manufacturing its flagship due to complications with its camera.

CNET has speculated that Samsung may have been "worried" about the "design and build quality of their mobile devices" and "green with envy" over the HTC One's aluminum unibody construction. However, this is hardly a valid reason and can quite easily be addressed by simply adjusting the build of the company's next flagship device, the Note III.


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  • 5 Hide
    Icecweam7 , April 17, 2013 8:39 PM
    Another black eye for Samsung. The worst type of probe that they could be facing (if Samsung is suspected of hiding anything) will be the inevitable and embarrassing anal probe.
  • 6 Hide
    nuvon , April 17, 2013 10:27 PM
    Only $840,000?
  • 3 Hide
    bebangs , April 17, 2013 11:46 PM
    greed
  • 1 Hide
    260511 , April 18, 2013 12:47 AM
    the two tech companies that would never get a dime of my money would be samsung and apple
  • 5 Hide
    dillonpeterliam , April 18, 2013 3:03 AM
    I don't like the direction Samsung seem to be taking, every since they became "probably" the number 1 smartphone manufacturer they have started to go the way of the "evil" big companies . . . .like Apple :) 
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , April 18, 2013 5:38 AM
    why would they need to badmouth htc? seems their products speak bad enough about the company themselves. I have a few friends with evos and they are still stuck on 2.3 with no updates to 4.0, they all seem to have the same kind of taxt messages not being received on time problems alongside abysmakl battery life. My wife's htc evo 3-d has android 4.0 but now we are at 4.2 and will liekly never be updated. she has to reset her phone once per day at least when she is not even getting text messages or able to send them out. my sister returned an htc one for similar reasons... seems like they make junk and don't support/update it and i can't think of anybody i knwo saying anythign positive about htc products... so why badmouth them when by scomparisons samsung products are made of gold and shoot out rainbows
  • -4 Hide
    g00fysmiley , April 18, 2013 5:38 AM
    why would they need to badmouth htc? seems their products speak bad enough about the company themselves. I have a few friends with evos and they are still stuck on 2.3 with no updates to 4.0, they all seem to have the same kind of taxt messages not being received on time problems alongside abysmakl battery life. My wife's htc evo 3-d has android 4.0 but now we are at 4.2 and will liekly never be updated. she has to reset her phone once per day at least when she is not even getting text messages or able to send them out. my sister returned an htc one for similar reasons... seems like they make junk and don't support/update it and i can't think of anybody i knwo saying anythign positive about htc products... so why badmouth them when by scomparisons samsung products are made of gold and shoot out rainbows
  • 5 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , April 18, 2013 5:54 AM
    OK, Taiwan, I anxiously await your sanctions against Microsoft for their "evil" marketing efforts for Windows 8 and Surface. After I bought one, I went outside and it didnt make me feel like dancing in a circle. And when I tried to dance anyways, noone joined in and people laughed at me.
  • 2 Hide
    sundragon , April 18, 2013 8:00 AM
    "Samsung may have been "worried" about the "design and build quality of their mobile devices" and "green with envy" over the HTC One's aluminum unibody construction."

    You just need to hold the two devices to see and feel the build quality.

    Samsung just needs to start using aluminum or magnesium and pay attention to their Industrial Design. People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.

    A lot of people have had issues with HTC's function/support/software where Samsung far surpasses HTC on that mark and honestly - it's a phone, it's function should be more important than how it's built... Which brings us back to why HTC is hurting - people are weary of giving it a second chance after being burned. It's gonna take time before they can earn people's trust.
  • -2 Hide
    jrabbit2 , April 18, 2013 8:05 AM
    Samsung is getting jealous because HTC is making some really nice phones, compared to their plastic crap. 4 generations already and nothing has changed, all they are can do is zerging out absurdly large screens its sickening. not to mention the poor build quality, the galaxy phones can twist and bend like a $2 toy, not to mention its ugly as heck, by comparison the htc one is leaps and bounds better than any Samsung crap ever existed. no wonder they are green with envy. all my friend's Samsung phones broke within the first 2 weeks, and they all returned for htc and nokia and has been happy with them since.
  • -1 Hide
    jrabbit2 , April 18, 2013 8:06 AM
    Samsung is getting jealous because HTC is making some really nice phones, compared to their plastic crap. 4 generations already and nothing has changed, all they are can do is zerging out absurdly large screens its sickening. not to mention the poor build quality, the galaxy phones can twist and bend like a $2 toy, not to mention its ugly as heck, by comparison the htc one is leaps and bounds better than any Samsung crap ever existed. no wonder they are green with envy. all my friend's Samsung phones broke within the first 2 weeks, and they all returned for htc and nokia and has been happy with them since.
  • -1 Hide
    jrabbit2 , April 18, 2013 8:06 AM
    Samsung is getting jealous because HTC is making some really nice phones, compared to their plastic crap. 4 generations already and nothing has changed, all they are can do is zerging out absurdly large screens its sickening. not to mention the poor build quality, the galaxy phones can twist and bend like a $2 toy, not to mention its ugly as heck, by comparison the htc one is leaps and bounds better than any Samsung crap ever existed. no wonder they are green with envy. all my friend's Samsung phones broke within the first 2 weeks, and they all returned for htc and nokia and has been happy with them since.
  • -1 Hide
    jrabbit2 , April 18, 2013 8:06 AM
    Samsung is getting jealous because HTC is making some really nice phones, compared to their plastic crap. 4 generations already and nothing has changed, all they are can do is zerging out absurdly large screens its sickening. not to mention the poor build quality, the galaxy phones can twist and bend like a $2 toy, not to mention its ugly as heck, by comparison the htc one is leaps and bounds better than any Samsung crap ever existed. no wonder they are green with envy. all my friend's Samsung phones broke within the first 2 weeks, and they all returned for htc and nokia and has been happy with them since.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 8:12 AM
    Quote:
    "People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, else you just sound like a troll. Lenovo was a Chinese company right from the start, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005

  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 9:29 AM
    Quote:
    People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, or you'll end up looking like a troll. Lenova was a Chinese company to begin with, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 9:29 AM
    Quote:
    People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, or you'll end up looking like a troll. Lenova was a Chinese company to begin with, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 9:29 AM
    Quote:
    People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, or you'll end up looking like a troll. Lenova was a Chinese company to begin with, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 9:30 AM
    Quote:
    People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, or you'll end up looking like a troll. Lenova was a Chinese company to begin with, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 9:30 AM
    Quote:
    People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, or you'll end up looking like a troll. Lenova was a Chinese company to begin with, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005.
  • 0 Hide
    wittermark , April 18, 2013 9:31 AM
    Quote:
    People are willing to pay for well built devices - Apple and Lenovo (Lenovo pre Chinese buyout) prove that.


    get your facts straight, or you'll end up looking like a troll. Lenova was a Chinese company to begin with, they acquired the PC division of IBM back in 2005.
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