The online-and-offline sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphones have been halted in China, as the South Korean company has been under fire following its decision to exclude China from its first global recall of its latest flagship handset for faulty battery problems.
Samsung's China unit on Tuesday stopped the production and sales of the Galaxy Note 7 for consumer safety reasons and decided to recall all the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, amounting to around 191,000 units, sold in Chinese mainland.
Staff from a Samsung store in Beijing said they have removed all the Note 7 phones from shelves on receiving the notice on Tuesday afternoon.
"The message we got is to make registrations for those who bought Galaxy Note 7 at our store at first. There have been seven to eight customers contacting us so far. When Samsung unveiled the detailed refund plan, we will make contact with the customers one by one," said staff at Samsung.
There have been 20 incidents of overheating and combustion of Galaxy Note 7 units in China, according to China’s quality watchdog.
Initially, Samsung said in September that the Note 7s’ sold in China would not be affected because their batteries came from a different supplier, ATL.
However, Chinese Samsung users said they dare not use Samsung phones any more.
"Since all the batteries are made for Samsung phones, their quality standards should be the same. It can hardly convince me that it was just because of different battery suppliers," said a resident.
"For such a big company, there should not be such a great difference in handsets sold at home and aboard. I think it could lead to a loss of credibility. As a consumer, I don’t want to choose Samsung brand right now and won’t buy it in the future," said another resident.
China Consumers Associations said Samsung China should not refuse a refund claim for the sake of damages on phones, loss of accessories or lack of receipt.
It also said Samsung should make apologies to victims of the battery explosions and compensate for their losses.