AAPL) was accused of offering Chinese customers inferior warranties compared to those offered in the West, Apple didn't make excuses or talk about differences in the markets. It quickly changed the warranties in question and CEO Tim Cook made a trip to meet with officials.
Apple demonstrated how to handle a problem in what will soon be the largest consumer market in the world. Starbucks, on the other hand, could do a much better job. Starbucks should focus on the strength of the Chinese market. By changing the conversation to one that is about the robustness of the Chinese economy, Starbucks can defuse pricing concerns much easier than trying to simply justify higher (and perceived to be exploitative) prices and margins. It wouldn't hurt for Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz to make a trip demonstrating how valuable the market is to the corporation and the value of the partnership. After all, the Chinese aren't asking for much, just a fair deal that anyone of us would want. At the time of publication, Weinstein had no positions in securities mentioned. Follow @RobertWeinstein This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.