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Changhong ChiQ Spin Canstar Blue Award No Mention Of Violating Human Rights Claims

Research group Canstar Blue has found itself caught up in a controversy after one of its awards was being used by a Chinese appliance and TV brand linked with violating human rights.

Chinese appliance manufacturer Changhong who sell appliances branded as ChiQ in Australia, is using a Canstar Blue Award to make out it is a credible appliance manufacturer, in particular refrigerators, after its appliance manufacturing company was labelled as violating the human rights of ethnic minorities.

David Esler, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at ChiQ Australia, has failed to respond to several requests from ChannelNews for an explanation of why the US Federal Government banned Changhong Hefei Meiling, a 100% owned subsidiary of Changhong, which manufactures ChiQ appliances that are widely sold in Australia at retailers including Bing Lee, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys.

The questionable entity was formerly known as the Hefei Meiling Company and was last year placed on the US Government banned list is the main manufacturing operation for Changhong ChiQ products.


Esler is now using a Canstar Blue Appliance Award to justify the questionable credentials of his Chinese Company.

In a press release that was syndicated by the Chinese company but not to ChannelNews, he said referring to the Canstar Blue Award “We are delighted to be recognised as number one in Customer Satisfaction and attribute this to the ChiQ methodology of creating human-centric appliances.” claims Esler.

In Australia ChiQ has 40 SKUs in its fridge and freezer portfolio, what ChannelNews wants to know is how many are manufactured by the banned Company Changhong Meiling a Chinese manufacturing operation who brags about the manufacture of Changhong ChiQ products as well as other product including Electrolux appliances that are manufactured by the Company who went from making a profit to losses after the ban was introduced and third party brands who used the plant to manufacture products deserted the Chinese Company.

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added Hefei Meiling to the entity List along with 11 other Chinese companies which they claim are implicated in human rights violations and abuses in China.
The USA Federal Government claims that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Canstar Blue appear not to have known that Changhong and their ChiQ brand were manufacturing products via a factory linked with human rights abuse before the award was handed out to Changhong.

A Canstar Blue spokesperson said: “Our research provides a high-level guide to which brands are the highest-rated by Australian consumers in a particular product or service category, based on the feedback we receive in our customer surveys. Brands must receive a minimum of 30 survey responses to be included in the ratings and the best-rated brands are able to leverage the award win in their marketing should they wish. Our latest customer satisfaction ratings for refrigerators are based on the experiences of 1,553 Australians who have purchased a new fridge in the last 3 years. Most recently, CHiQ and LG were joint winners of this award.”

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