Five university students in China take Apple to court

Five Chinese students have sued Apple, in May this year, for not providing free chargers, sparking heated debates about whether students could win this lawsuit against the tech giant.

At the time of writing, relevant posts on China’s Twitter-like platform, Sina Weibo, have received over 340 million views, becoming one of the largest trending topics as a result.

This lawsuit started in May when Fang and four other students filed an application to a local court in Beijing. They asked Apple to deliver a free charger that is supposed to be included in their mobile phone purchase, pay them 100 RMB ($15.67) for violating the service contract, and cover the litigation costs. The trial initially took place online this September and was held for two hours, with the court still gathering evidence and no current judgment being made.

Apple’s charger is exclusive and unique, it is hard to replace this charger with those designed for most other mobile devices, according to senior lawyer Chang Yachun. Many Chinese people are in support of this case, as they think a mobile phone can only be used with a charger and not providing one is a “commodity defect”. Some patriots take a step further, calling on support for homegrown brands, arguing the best way to challenge such foreign tech giants is to say no to their products.

But others doubt the students will win the lawsuit, as it is the company’s decision to make in terms of whether to include a charger in the purchase. Overall, it will be very interesting to see how the lawsuit will play out and whether this will affect Apple’s decisions in the future when providing its products.

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