廣告

2007年9月21日 星期五

Mattel Official Apologizes in China

這是最有趣的政治-經濟-法律-商業連環事故

September 21, 2007

Mattel Official Apologizes in China

Mattel, the world’s largest toy maker, apologized to China today over its recalls of Chinese-made toys this summer at a meeting with China’s product safety chief.

Press accounts of the meeting in Beijing said Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel’s executive vice president for worldwide operations, had apologized to China for harming the reputation of Chinese manufacturers. That prompted criticism from American politicians and others that Mattel was kowtowing to China, where the company manufactures 65 percent of its toys in partnership with dozens of Chinese vendors.

But Mattel countered those press accounts this afternoon, saying they had mischaracterized Mr. Debrowski’s remarks. Mattel sent Mr. Debrowski to the meeting to apologize to consumers in China, not to manufacturers there, a spokeswoman said. His remarks were not intended to address harm that has come to the reputation of Chinese-made products as Mattel and other companies have recalled millions of toys, she said.

“Since Mattel toys are sold the world over, Mattel apologized to the Chinese today just as it has wherever its toys are sold,” Mattel said in a statement.

Nonetheless, Mr. Debrowski’s comments created a furor in the United States.

“It’s like a bank robber apologizing to his accomplice instead of to the person who was robbed,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in an interview. “They’re playing politics in China rather than doing what matters.”

Mattel released a copy of the draft of remarks that Mr. Debrowski planned to make at themeeting with Li Changjiang, China’s product safety chief. In those remarks, Mr. Debrowski clarified that many of the units recalled this summer were magnetic toys that, though produced in China, were recalled because of a design mistake by Mattel.

“Mattel does not hold Chinese manufacturers responsible for the design in relation to the recalled magnet toys,” Mr. Debrowski said, according to the copy of his planned remarks.

A spokeswoman for Mattel said she had not seen a video or heard a recording of the meeting to confirm what Mr. Debrowski had in fact said.

Press accounts from Beijing quoted him as saying that the “vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel’s design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China’s manufacturers.” Mattel said when it recalled the magnetic toys in mid-August that those recalls were not caused by a Chinese vendor. That made those recalled items different from the more than 80 other styles of toys that Mattel recalled because they were tainted with lead paint.

Press accounts from Beijing quoted Mr. Debrowski as saying the lead-related recalls were “overly inclusive, including toys that may not have had lead in paint in excess of the U.S. standards.” That was not inconsistent with previous remarks by Mattel executives, who said throughout August that they had recalled more units than necessary because they were being conservative.

But some critics today said Mattel should not have lumped the magnetic recall in with the lead-paint ones.

“They really mixed these issues,” said Dara O’Rourke, an associate professor of labor and environmental policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. O’Rourke said that Mattel has been more focused on public relations rather than fixing its problems. He said that Mattel used China as a scapegoat for its own problems and that the toymaker is now paying the price for that.

“There’s no question that Mattel is still completely committed to operating in China and needs those factories,” he said. “There was a lot of scapegoating China, but I would argue that this was caused by a system that is designed to push down costs and speed up delivery. There are root causes and Mattel is behind those.”

Management experts said that Mattel is in a tight position with the messages that company executives have to deliver to keep its partners happy.

“They have relationships with suppliers, they have relationships with customers, they have relationships with governments and with investors,” said Steven D. Eppinger, the interim dean and a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But they cannot give them different messages.”

Mr. Eppinger said it is more difficult maintaining good relationships with vendors abroad, and that communications can be misunderstood more easily.

Marshall W. Meyer, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said that Mattel’s legal counsel might not be so happy with the remarks attributed to Mr. Debrowski in the face of the lawsuits.

“I’m no lawyer, but my reaction was this was plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 1,” Mr. Meyer said. “Did the corporate general counsel weigh in on this?”


玩具商美泰向中國道歉
美泰道歉
李長江(右)接受美泰副總裁德鮑斯基的道歉

全球最大美國玩具商美泰(Mattel)星期五(21日)出人意表地就近期回收了數以萬計在中國造的玩具一事向中國道歉。

該公司承認,回收的玩具大部分是由於設計失誤而非生產錯誤,責任不在中國的生產商。

美泰副總裁德鮑斯基是在與中國國家質量監督總局局長李長江會面時作出道歉的。

德鮑斯基說,回收令美泰聲譽受損,美泰要負上全部責任,他向李長江、中國人民和所有顧客道歉。

他說,明白事件損害了中國產品的聲譽,但最重要的是要讓人明白,大部分回收的產品是出於美泰設計上的錯誤而非中國製造商的問題。

李長江說,他對美泰的說法表示滿意。美泰承認2,100萬件回收的玩具之中,有87%是因為設計出問題,只有13%是因為油漆的含鉛量過高的問題。

美泰月來回收大量中國製造玩具,加劇了全球對中國產品問題的擔憂,對中國出口造成嚴重影響。

李長江說,中國已經嚴厲懲處需要負責的廠商。

中國已經大力整頓玩具製造業,特別是出口玩具製造商,吊銷或暫停300家工廠的生產執照。

李長江說,希望通過共同努力和合作,可以給全世界兒童製造更多質量高的玩具。


1 則留言:

hanching chung 提到...

"痛打中國 后果嚴重"

全球最大的玩具商美國美泰公司就回收中國制造玩具向中國道歉的消息在英國各大報章均有報道。

《金融時報》在頭版顯著位置刊登了美泰副總裁德鮑斯基與中國質檢總局局長李長江會晤的大幅照片。

商業版的頭條報道中引述倫敦卡斯商學院蘭帕爾教授的分析說,從銷售的角度來看,美泰已經遭受重創,他們必須挽救與中國的商業關系,美泰需要中國政府的良好意愿。

《金融時報》的專欄作家也說,美泰道歉一事將"提醒華盛頓,雖然確保商品安全至關重要,但在商品產供銷全球化的時代,痛打中國也會造成嚴重后果。"

《國際先驅論壇報》頭版頭條也是選用的這條消息。報道說,德鮑斯基"當著律師的面措詞謹慎的道歉"表明了中國對美泰的重要作用。

報道形容德鮑斯基與李長江的會晤過程當中“面無表情,并且沒有與記者交談”。

Mattel
西方媒體注意到德鮑斯基在會談中“面無表情”

報道說,中國質檢局邀請許多記者見証會晤的作法"對于一個素來保密的政府機構來說很不尋常"。

網誌存檔