Chinese Firms Urge Employees to Boycott iPhones, Buy Huawei devices


Over 20 Chinese companies have also announced on social media that they will increase purchases of Huawei products

A growing number of Chinese companies are extending their support to Huawei Technologies which is facing immense pressure from the US.

Many have even urged their employees to boycott iPhones and buy Huawei phones instead. The staff members are also being offered subsidies to buy Huawei smartphones.

According to a report in Nikkei Asian Review on Tuesday, the move came after the detention of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of American prosecutors.

Meng was detained on December 1 while changing planes in Vancouver. The U.S. alleges Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.

“Many Chinese businesses have told employees they will receive subsidies if they buy Huawei smartphones to aid the company. Most are subsidizing 10-20 percent of the purchase price, with some even covering the full amount,” IANS quoted the report.

More than 20 Chinese companies have also announced on social media that they will increase purchases of other Huawei products, the report said.

Quoting Chinese media, the report also revealed that a Shanghai-based business association has announced a decision to expel any of its staff who are found buying Apple products.

Seeking Vengeance  

Reacting strongly to Huawei CFO arrest, China has so far arrested two Canadian nationals in a potential act of retribution. The second Canadian arrested in China in December was identified as Michael Spavor, founder of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, a Canadian-owned China-based company that helps to facilitate trips to North Korea.

Earlier, China arrested Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who currently works for the non-profit organization International Crisis Group as its northeast Asia senior adviser.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China had earlier this month ordered ban on sales of iPhone models ranging from iPhone 6S to iPhone X in the country.

The ban was a part of the lawsuit filed by Qualcomm against Apple in the country. Qualcomm claimed that Apple violated two of its patents.

To avoid the ban, the Cupertino-based technology giant released a small update to iOS last week, saying that iOS version 12.1.2 contains software changes exclusive to China.

Huawei equipment banned over security concerns

In August this year, the US passed the National Defence Authorisation Act which puts a ban on the use of Huawei and ZTE technology products and services by the government on concerns over the connections with Chinese intelligence.

The U.S. government has also been reportedly trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from Huawei.

Recently, three big telecommunication operators in Japan – NTT Docomo, SoftBank Group Corp and KDDI Corp – announced their plan to ban purchases of equipment from ZTE and Huawei to strengthen its defences against cyber attacks and intelligence leaks.

Australia and New Zealand have also blocked the company from developing 5G networks amidst the concerns of it having possible links with the Chinese government.

Huawei, however, has repeatedly denied engaging in intelligence work for any government.