Complaints About IPhone 7 Reception Stir on Chinese Social Media

Complaints about call connection problems with Apple Inc.’s iPhone 7 models are spreading across social media in China just weeks after the devices were released.

A chat group on the QQ instant messaging platform had grown to 1,600 people through Friday, just two weeks after it was set up, with critics saying the phones can’t receive incoming calls from mobile networks in standby mode and slamming Apple’s customer service.

Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment after being informed of the social media reports.

Li Dengke, who set up the QQ group, began noticing the missed calls a week after buying a silver iPhone 7 through Apple’s store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s After the device was tested at an authorized service center, he was given a replacement.

“I received the new one on Oct. 5, a few hours later, it is ‘out of service’ again," Li said.

The term “out of service” has become a hot topic on microblogging site Weibo while users have said a way to fix the problem is to shut down its fourth-generation connectivity and rely on slower 3G networks instead.

Greater China is one of Apple’s biggest markets and generates more than 20 percent of sales at the Cupertino, California-based company. The region has driven Apple’s spectacular growth for years, even as smartphone demand elsewhere faltered, and the company has dozens of retail outlets on the mainland.

— With assistance by Yuan Gao

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