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Malm dressers, chests to be Recalled in China by IKEA, Watchdog says

Malm dressers, chests to be Recalled in China by IKEA, Watchdog says
Just days after the Swedish company IKEA was slammed by Chinese media for operating a "double standard" in the world's most populous country, the Swedish company will recall its Malm dressers and chests in China, said the country's consumer watchdog.
For safety reasons, IKEA would recall all "Malm series" sets of drawers sold between 1999 and 2016, said China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
The watch dog said that the number sold came to more than 1.6 million.
According to a translation of the statement from AQSIQ done by CNBC, it said: “If they are not installed properly, it could fall and injure or even kill a child."
The statement went on to say that any customer who wished to return the product could obtain from IKEA the fittings to fix their existing Malm furniture to the wall or alternatively would get a full refund. The statement further said that "free installation support to customers who have difficulty doing it themselves" would be provided by the homewares giant.
Almost 36 million chests and dressers would be recalled in the US and Canada, the Swedish company said in June. The furniture could topple over if not anchored securely to a wall, the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in a statement.
Six children had died in accidents involving the IKEA furnishings tipping over, the Reuters had reported earlier.
"It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children," CPSC Chairman Elliott Kaye said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The newswire had reported that in addition to about 100 other families of chests and dressers, manufactured between 2002 and 2016, the North American recall included Malm-branded chests and dressers.
The concerned customers could call its service line for advice on safe installation and it would not institute a recall in China because the furniture met local regulations, IKEA said in a WeChat post on Thursday.
IKEA had submitted a request to undertake a recall effective from July 12, AQSIQ said on Tuesday in an apparent about-face with the company.
Just a few days ago, IKEA was criticized for failing to institute a recall in China as it had in North America by Xinhua, the news agency widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Chinese government.

With some stores offering free nails and free installation services, while other stores only offered "self-collection" nails and charged for installation, the company's service standards varied widely across the country, the Xinhua's editorial said, adding that IKEA operated on a double standard in its treatment of China.
"The behavior shown contradicts to the 'IKEA spirit' that founder Ingvar Kamprad talks about, being helpful and responsible. China is a huge market, and should not be deprived of the high standards that the brand promises," Xinhua wrote.
The lack of a Malm recall in China was also angrily put up by Chinese consumers also who wrote angrily on the issue Weibo.
"It is a discrimination against Chinese if IKEA refused to recall its problematic products in China. They shouldn't hold double standards. They must recall the items," one user, HappyLifeEverday, posted.
The company noted 18 percent increase in sales in China in 2015 when it reported sales in the country of $1.55 billion. The company had began operations in the Chinese market in 1998.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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