FORTUNE -- The Agence France Press headline that moved over the business wires Saturday morning seemed like deja vu all over again:
Citing only a statement issued by China Labor Watch in New York, the news agency reported that the deaths occurred at a Foxconn factory in the central city of Zhengzhou and included a 30-year-old married man who died on May 14, a 23-year-old woman (April 27) and a 24-year-old man (April 24).
And it wasn't until two days later, when the Wall Street Journal reported Foxconn's version of events, that we learned that two of the suicides occurred outside the company's property and were not, according to Foxconn, work-related.
As for the third victim -- the 24-year-old man who died on April 24 -- he didn't work for the company at all. He had, however, applied for a job at Foxconn. As if that makes a difference.
Although the Journal is to be commended for following up, we note that as far as it's concerned, Apple is the only company that matters -- or at least the only one worth mentioning -- when bad things happen in a Foxconn factory town.
As Macworld's Michael Kan once put it: "Foxconn builds products for many vendors, but its mud sticks to Apple."
High-tech meets low-tech (bike messengers!) as new Chinese consumers embrace online shopping.
By Scott Cendrowski, writer
FORTUNE -- Just as cash-strapped consumers in the developing world bypassed so-called landline phones in favor of mobile devices, so China's lower-income consumers are skipping physical stores in favor of e-commerce sites.
A recent report by McKinsey & Co. shows that e-commerce sales in China reached an estimated $190 billion last year, almost equaling the U.S. MOREMay 20, 2013 11:12 AM ET
Yes, Ren Zhengfei wields enormous power over the Chinese telecom giant. But the company's management is far more complex.
FORTUNE -- You may have read that Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, has finally broken his media silence. The reclusive CEO gave his first public media briefing in -- of all places -- Wellington, New Zealand, where he addressed security concerns about his company and his involvement in MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - May 9, 2013 1:12 PM ET
Morgan Stanley's chief Apple watcher was visiting Hong Kong and Taiwan.
FORTUNE -- In a note to clients Wednesday, Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, just back from China, reports on "feedback" from Asian carriers and suppliers that she views as positive for Apple (AAPL).
She makes several points: (I quote)
After a slow start, iPhone 5 is now on track to meet carrier volume expectations.
iPhone 4 price cuts could stimulate incremental demand near-term.
Carriers see MORE
In one day, Apple's profit margin went from the high end of its range to the low end.
FORTUNE -- After Apple's (AAPL) quarterly report last week nearly every analyst we heard from pointed out that the company's 37.5% gross margin -- the measure of how efficiently a company turns sales into profits -- was at very bottom of its 37.5%-to-38.5% forecast range.
The analysts offered a variety explanations, but most attributed the reduced margins to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 2, 2013 12:03 PM ET
Swapping fake iPhone parts for real ones under the return rules Chinese TV laid into
FORTUNE -- Talk about an ironic twist. Even as Apple (AAPL) was being lambasted daily in Chinese state-run media for what was being portrayed as unfair iPhone return policies, the company was investigating a ring of Chinese scammers taking advantage of those same policies to rip the company off.
According to a report Monday in The Register, five MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 15, 2013 7:58 AM ET
The company that makes Japan's legendary Shinkansen bullet trains certainly regrets working in China.
By Michael Fitzpatrick
FORTUNE -- One China defender recently claimed his countryman's "bandit innovators" could be good for the world. That was small consolation for the Japanese, who say that China pirated their world-famous bullet train technology.
"Don't worry too much about Chinese companies imitating you, they are creating value for you down the road," said Li Daokui, MOREApr 15, 2013 5:00 AM ET
Buy the news, sell the rumor.
FORTUNE -- Tuesday was another strange one for Apple's (AAPL) beleagued shares.
With the caveat that it's always dangerous to attribute reason to something as irrational as the stock market, this is how it looked to me:
The stock opened strong -- despite a wishy-washy Goldman Sachs note and a bizarre Jim Cramer rant -- on news that Tim Cook's apology to China seemed to have done MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 2, 2013 4:43 PM ET
Yours truly did an interview with Richard Quest on CNN International Monday
FORTUNE -- A 3:43-minute round-up of the reasons behind Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook's letter of apology to his Chinese customers, recorded Monday afternoon before China's response. Not much here that regular readers haven't heard before.
To view full screen, start the video and click the box in the lower right corner.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 2, 2013 12:01 PM ET
Improves Apple's warranty policies in China following a state-sponsored smear campaign
FORTUNE -- Two weeks after China's Central Television accused Apple (AAPL) of giving Chinese customers second-rate repair service on its iPhones and iPads -- a charge echoed and amplified by editorials in the People's Daily -- CEO Tim Cook posted a signed apology on Apple's Chinese-language website.
A public apology was one of the demands made last week by the China MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 1, 2013 12:11 PM ET
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