Chinese home appliances company apologizes after being accused of false reports


Chinese multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company Haier Group Corporation has apologized after being accused of issuing false reports at the Global Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health Seminar which was convened in Beijing on May 17, 2018.

At the seminar, the hosts said the World Health Organization (WHO) experts have issued a 'Leading Global Healthy Air Brand' award to Haier air conditioners and praised the brand of setting an example and demonstrating how to win the global air pollution control war.
The WHO Representative Office in China issued a statement on its official site Friday, saying no WHO experts attended the seminar and it has not issued any awards to Haier or any other manufacturer.
"The WHO has not issued a 'Leading Global Healthy Air Brand' award to Haier or any other manufacturer, nor has it ever made any comments or assessments regarding Haier air conditioning products or services," said the statement.
"Some media reported that Wang Hongcai, the expert representative of the WHO, hopes Haier air conditioner would develop more advanced technologies and products, and make continuous suggestions for global air governance," it added.
"Wang Hongcai is not an employee of the WHO nor a WHO expert. Wang Hongcai's statements and actions do not represent the WHO, nor is the WHO responsible for any statements attributed to him."
The reports also contained some other erroneous and misleading remarks on air pollution in China which were then denied by the WHO.
"Reports said an expert representative of the WHO, Wang Hongcai, noted that 90 percent of indoor air pollution comes from air conditioning," said the statement.
"Household (indoor) air pollution in China is largely a result of burning of solid fuels (biomass or coal) for cooking or heating."
Meanwhile, the statement refuted the hosts' claims about the safety value of indoor pollutant load.
"Some media reported that one of Haier air conditioning products' concentration of 8 minute particular matter is lower than the initial value, which is lower than the PM2.5 safety value announced by the WHO (PM2.5<10μg/m³is the safety value)," said the statement.
"The WHO Air Quality Guidelines for Particulate Matter, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide (Global update 2005) recommend a daily average PM2.5 value of 25μg/m3, and a yearly average of 10μg/m3. The recommendation is not a "safety value." In fact, the WHO has noted that there is no evidence to suggest a threshold below which no adverse health effects would be anticipated."
Haier apologized following the statement from the WHO.
"We feel sorry for our false reports at the seminar and have set up an emergency team to investigate the matter," Haier said in a statement.
"All false reports have been removed. We apologized to the WHO and all who care about Haier air conditioners," it added.
The incident triggered heated discussion among netizens. "I hope Haier can learn lessons from this matter and reinforce management to avoid such mistakes," a netizen named Maihuiyu said.
"Haier has been outpaced by its rivals such as Gree and Midea," another netizen named Yixinzhidu Kxiaotu said.

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