IKEA to recall 1.7 million chests, dressers in China: watchdog

An Ikea MALM dresser is placed by the road, following the recall of almost 36 million chests and dressers in the United States and Canada, in a Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City, U.S., June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Swedish furniture company IKEA Group [IKEA.UL] said it would recall 1.66 million chests and dressers in China over concerns the drawers could pose a danger to children if not properly fixed to walls, China's safety regulator said on Tuesday.

The recall covers MALM chests or dressers manufactured from 1999 to 2016, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement posted on its website.

IKEA's decision comes after the official Xinhua news agency criticized it last week for showing "arrogance" and not taking responsibility for the problem.

The firm said last Thursday it would not extend a recall of 36 million dressers in North America to China, after the products were linked to six child deaths.

The company carried out a recall in North America because the products did not meet industry standards in the United States, IKEA said in a statement to Reuters. However, they complied with regulations in China, it said.

"But ... after communicating with AQSIQ and the China Consumers Association we have decided to carry out a recall on the MALM dressers," it said.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Additional reporting by SHANGHAI Newsroom; Editing by Stephen Coates)