Apple is recalling millions of batteries for its computer products all over the world, but the company has been criticized by Chinese consumers for adopting a different recall program in China.

Online web boards and local media are abuzz with unhappy consumers complaining about Apple's recall in China because the company does not go to consumers' doors to collect the battery, nor does it cover any related shipping costs.

In the United States, Apple sends a new battery to consumers for free so long as the consumers complete an online verification procedure. Many Chinese Apple owners believe this is a double-standard that is unfair to Chinese consumers.

Local media reports that a representative from Apple's after-sales service department in China has expressed his sympathy to these consumers, and he has passed these complaints to his supervisors within the company.

Apple had determined last month that certain lithium-ion batteries containing cells manufactured by Sony Corporation of Japan pose a safety risk that may result in overheating under rare circumstances. The affected batteries were sold worldwide from October 2003 through August 2006 for use with the following notebook computers: 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4.

Apple is voluntarily recalling the affected batteries and has initiated a worldwide exchange program to provide eligible customers with a new replacement battery.

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