'Deceitful' Samsung Fined By Taiwan For Hiring Online-Trolls To Trash-Talk About HTC

Samsung might not be on Santa’s nice list this year, but rather, run up a deficit as they end up on the naughty list. Why do we say so? Samsung has been fined by the Taiwan government.

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Taiwan fines Samsung for defaming HTC by hiring online-trolls to trash-talk about HTC

The AP reported today that Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has slapped Samsung with a $340,000 fine for paying local students to pose as online commenters disappointed with the performance of cellphones made by its Taipei-based rival, HTC.
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The fine won't put much of a dent in the South Korean behemoth's marketing budget, which is rumored to be upwards of $10 billion a year. Still, not the most flattering outcome, especially for a company that was already crushing poor HTC in market share.

The fine marks a new low in the bitter battle for the mobile phone market that is being fought by Samsung, Apple, Google and HTC

Sun Lih-chyun, a spokesman for the Taiwan Federal Trade Commission, branded Samsung ‘deceitful’ for what it did.
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He said: ‘This is the first case of its kind in Taiwan that a company has concealed its genuine status while attacking a rival. The behaviour has negative impacts on market order and violated the fair trade law.'

'Reviewers’ didn't reveal who they were, meaning that the public were being fooled into thinking that they were reading honest appraisements

The fake reviews related to an advert about the camera functions on Samsung’s Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102, one of its flagship products.
The Taiwan FTC said its activities were designed to ‘highlight the shortcomings of competing products’ and that it was responsible for the ‘disinfection of negative news about Samsung products’.

HTC was having a hard enough time selling its phones even before Samsung's astroturfing campaign.

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HTC was described as ‘the victim of a campaign of defamation’.
Posting fake reviews online is known in the mobile industry as ‘astroturfing’.

Adam Yates, a Samsung spokesman, said in a statement:

“We are disappointed that the Taiwan F.T.C. has decided that we have violated the Fair Trade Act based on online marketing activities. However, we remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest communication with consumers.”

“Samsung Electronics Taiwan is carefully reviewing the decision and will take all necessary steps to protect our reputation as a company which values its customers,” Mr. Yates added.
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