Samsung probed in Taiwan over fake web reviews of HTC phones

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Fair trade officials looking into reports that teenagers were hired to post negative comments

Samsung has been accused of hiring students in Taiwan to post negative online comments about phones made by rival HTC.

Fair trade officials in the country have begun an investigation after receiving a series of complaints. If found guilty, Samsung and its local agent could be fined £547,000.

PC Advisor reported that a local website had published documents appearing to show Samsung had been recruiting students to anonymously praise it and criticise HTC on the internet.

Samsung said the “unfortunate incident” had gone against its “fundamental principles”. Its Taiwanese division said it had not been notified about the investigation, but on its Facebook page said it had “ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments”.

It added that all future marketing would be more in line with its philosophy of transparency and honesty.

Samsung, which said it was planning to train employees to ensure such events were not repeated, added: “The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles

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