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China television slams Samsung Electronics for charging customers to fix smartphone defects

Beijing (Reuters) - China Central Television has criticized South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for charging customers to repair devices which the state broadcaster says are defective because of a manufacturing error.

CCTV in a program broadcast late Monday said internal multimedia cards cause the software of Samsung's Note and S series of smartphones to seize up.

"We remain committed to providing the highest quality products and services. Upon verification of these reports, including their technical aspects, we will respond accordingly," Samsung said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone maker, is the latest multinational company to be singled out by Chinese state media for what it says are unfair consumer practices.

On Sunday, CCTV aired a program criticizing Starbucks Corp for charging higher prices in China than other markets.

John Culver, president of Starbucks' China and the Asia-Pacific region, told Reuters that the company's prices reflect higher costs for coffee and milk to rent and supply chain operations.

In March, CCTV criticized Apple Inc, the second-biggest smartphone maker, for using different warranty and customer service polices in China than in other countries. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook later apologized.

Li Yi, a consultant to the Ministry of Information Industry who spoke in the program, said on his Weibo microblog after the broadcast that CCTV's priority is to "protect domestic consumers from the bullying of foreign brands."

"At the same time, domestic products also should get stronger."

(Reporting by Matthew Miller; Additional reporting by the Beijing Newsroom and Miyoung Kim in SEOUL; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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