In its special “315 gala” for World Consumer Rights Day, the state-run China Central Television aired an investigative feature alleging unfair treatment by Apple of its customers in China. But the attention shifted back on CCTV after a Sina Weibo post from the account of a Taiwanese celebrity seemed to reveal a plan to have celebrities post about the segment soon after it aired. Many Chinese users on social media said they believed CCTV was guilty of foul play and was going after companies (including Apple and Volkswagen) that had not advertised with the network. In the above cartoon by Xiao Mao (小矛), posted to Sina Weibo on March 16,, a mob underling in a black suit and black tie looks at a list and says: “It looks like Apple, Volkswagen and a few others haven’t paid their protection fees yet.” Seated below, a white-haired mob boss grinds his teeth and says: “Let’s do a special gala and blacken their names. Perhaps we can air it at around 8:20!”

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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