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Apple offices in South Korea raided one day before iPhone X launch

By James Lu - on 24 Nov 2017, 9:58am

Apple offices in South Korea raided one day before iPhone X launch

An Apple Store in South Korea.

South Korean authorities have reportedly raided Apple’s offices in Seoul just one day before the launch of the iPhone X in the country.

No official explanation for the raid has been provided, although there is speculation that the raid was part of an ongoing probe into "unfair" contracts between Apple and South Korean firms. Investigators are said to have asked Apple officials about its business practices, though it is unclear if the raid concerned just questioning or included the collection of documents or other evidence as part of the inquiries. 

The investigation, launched last year, looked at the contract terms Apple required carriers to accept in order to sell iPhones, an issue that South Korea's Fair Trade Commission wanted rectified. These included provisions for carriers to buy a minimum number of iPhones, sharing the burden of repair costs, and the inability for repair firms to file lawsuits against Apple Korea for a year after a dispute. 

The timing of the raid has also led to questions over whether South Korean authorities are trying to  hamper the success of the iPhone X. South Korea is the home of Apple's biggest competitor, Samsung, and the country has a notorious history of corruption and bribery scandals - most notably, last year's case in which South Korea's then-president Park Geun-hye was impeached on charges of accepting bribes. As part of the same investigation, Samung’s de-facto head Lee Jae-yong was also convicted on bribery, embezzlement & perjury charges and sentenced to five years imprisonment. 


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