What just happened? PC hardware giant Gigabyte has seen its share price crash around 25% after making derogatory comments about what it described as cheap and poor-quality products being made in China. The Taiwanese firm has apologized, but the damage may have already been done.
The furor arrived after Gigabyte published a post on its website claiming that its products differed from unnamed rivals who used Chinese manufacturers in a “low-cost, low quality way,” reports Bloomberg.
The post didn’t go down well in China, obviously. There was outrage on social media, while online retailers JD.com Inc. and Suning.com Co removed the company’s product listings—searches for “Gigabyte” or its Chinese brand name, “Jijia,” on the platforms returned no results.
Gigabyte has since deleted the post and issued an apology that blames “internal mismanagement.” It promises to “conduct a thorough review of [these] inappropriate remarks,” adding that its words were “seriously inconsistent with the facts.”
“Chinese production helps Gigabyte to create excellent products and high-quality experience[s] for consumers around the world, product quality has stood the test of the market and consumers for many years,” reads the translated statement.
Despite the apology, Gigabyte’s share price plummeted for two days. It dropping from $4.60 on Monday to a low of $3.34 yesterday, wiping around $550 million off the company’s market value.
Bloomberg notes that several companies have been boycotted in China, including Nike and Adidas, though this was over criticism of the country’s treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang. It remains to be seen whether Gigabyte is forgiven in a market with 1.4 billion consumers.