BEIJING -- Hiweixiu, a Chinese provider of smartphone repair services, became Apple's first independent repair provider in China, the International Finance News reported on Dec. 29, 2020.
As an independent service provider, Hiweixiu has access to Apple's genuine parts and tools, allowing Chinese to get iPhones repaired by an Apple-certified provider without visiting the U.S. maker's shops.
Apple's Independent Repair Provider Program enables Hiweixiu to provide repair service using genuine Apple parts as well as third-party components. Repairs with genuine parts do not affect warranties, and users can check maintenance records on Apple's website.
All Hiweixiu engineers will receive training to become certified engineers for AppleCare, Apple's extended warranty program.
Hiweixiu has more than 600 registered engineers since its official launch in March 2015, all under direct control of the company.
Apple announced last July that it will increase the number of repair service locations in the U.S. and roll out its Independent Provider Program in 32 countries, including Canada and those in Europe. Qualifying companies are required to have technical staff authorized by Apple. After staff receive training by Apple, they can offer certified iPhone repair services.
Apple has expanded its Independent Repair Provider Program due to the high volume of iPhones sold. The company is unable to keep up with support in a timely manner under its existing repair service. To obtain high ratings from users, Apple needs to depart from its closed service system and look to third-party providers.
The program will also let Apple increase use of genuine parts and boost sales by recapturing the iPhone service market from third-party providers.
Apple places a particular emphasis on the Independent Repair Provider Program in China, its most important market. Hiweixiu already provides pickup and delivery service for smartphone repair and recycling in more than 30 large and midsized cities in China. Now, it can brand itself as an Apple-certified provider to connect with more iPhone users.
Using Hiweixiu's existing service stations will also reduce building costs. In addition, more users are expected to use Hiweixiu's pickup and delivery service as a result of the move.
There are more than 5,000 Apple-certified repair shops around the world. Hiweixiu will likely expand in the future if its Apple-certified status proves successful.
36Kr, a Chinese tech news portal founded in Beijing in 2010, has more than 150 million readers worldwide. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.
For the Japanese version of this story, click here.
For the Chinese version, click here.