Samsung Tried to Bribe Chinese Man to Keep Exploding Phone Video Private

By Christina Warren on at

When a Galaxy Note 7 caught fire in China, its owner started filming the damage. That’s to be expected.

What was less expected was how Samsung reacted to news that one of its phones caught on fire. According to The New York Times, Samsung didn’t rush out to try to find out why this user’s phone exploded, it tried to bribe him to keep the video private. The Nw York Times reports:

Two employees from Samsung Electronics showed up at his house later that day, he said, offering a new Note 7 and about $900 in compensation on the condition that he keep the video private. Mr. Zhang angrily refused. Only weeks before, even as Samsung recalled more than two million Note 7s in the United States and elsewhere, the company had reassured him and other Chinese customers that the phone was safe.

“They said there was no problem with the phones in China. That’s why I bought a Samsung,” said Mr. Zhang, a 23-year-old former firefighter. “This is an issue of deception. They are cheating Chinese consumers.”

This isn’t the first report of Samsung trying to cover up problems with its devices. After a replacement Note 7 caught fire in a Kentucky man’s home earlier this month, Samsung’s response was to try to gain possession of the phone. The man refused, vowing to go to the press instead. Samsung’s response? The company sent the man a text message (that was apparently meant for another Samsung employee or a PR rep), vowing to try to “slow him down” in his quest to go public.

Back in 2013, YouTube user ghostlyrich’s Galaxy S4 caught on fire and he posted the video online. Samsung’s response was to offer him a replacement, but only if he removed his original video off of YouTube and agreed not to talk about the phone in the future. Rich refused to those terms and made another video instead. [The New York Times]