Business / Companies in refurbished Apple product scandal

By Zhao Tingting and Dai Tian ( Updated: 2015-05-25 15:30 in refurbished Apple product scandal

A man walks past an advertisement for in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province on June 12, 2013. [Zhen Huai / Asianewsphoto]

China's second-largest e-commerce player has been accused of selling refurbished iPhone product on its website, according to CCTV's Weekly Quality Report.

A woman surnamed Wu said she bought a brand new iPhone 5C through the JD self-distributed channel for more than 3,000 yuan. But after a month, the phone kept crashing.

When she took it to an authorized Apple service outlet in Beijing on February 16, 2014, she was told that there were burned marks on the back of the screen and the serial number on the motherboard indicated a corresponding 16G blue iPhone 5C, which had been registered in the UK in October 2013.

"The serial number on the motherboard did not match with the serial number on the exterior of the smartphone," said the test report issued by the authorized Apple service shop.

Apple's official customer service center confirmed that the serial number on the motherboard was registered as a 16G blue iPhone 5C, while the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) on the back of the product was of a 32G pink iPhone 5C.

Only when the serial numbers on the motherboard, the SIM tray and the outside packing matches, the product is proved to be an intact Apple iPhone, said Apple's official customer service center. That means Wu's iPhone is likely to be a refurbished one as the three numbers are different.

In a reply through its official Weibo account, promised reliable supply source and vowed thorough investigation into the case.

" is authorized to sell iPhone by all three major mobile carriers in China and by Apple. The phone in question was sourced through appropriate channels from an authorized distributor," said the company.

The unit was first introduced to China on Sept 20, 2013, and was purchased by from a wholly owned subsidiary of Unicom, an authorized distributor of Apple products in China, on Dec 3 before it was sold to the customer on Dec 21, added the statement.

"It's quite unusual to sell a refurbished iPhone 5C only three months after the product was launched," said a source close to the e-commerce giant who wished to remain anonymous.

"We are working with our partners and suppliers to better understand the root cause of this issue," said

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