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Huawei Vows Refund for Users in the Philippines if Facebook and Google Don’t Work

The tech giant is preparing to bear the brunt of their U.S. fallout.
June 20, 2019, 11:37am
The Huawei P20 Pro
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Huawei’s had a rough few months. After U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a ban on the company back in May, CEO Ren Zhengfei recently revealed an estimated $30 billion dip in revenue over the next two years.

International distrust in Huawei is at a high. Intelligence agencies in the U.S. have advised its citizens not to use Huawei phones out of security concerns. Vietnam has excluded the company in its attempts to build a 5G network. Consumer trust has also fallen and affected trust in other Chinese brands, according to an Edelmen Trust Barometer survey cited by the South China Morning Post.

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When companies like Google and Facebook revealed that they were cutting their ties with the rising tech giant by withholding their apps and software from newer cell phones, questions over whether Huawei could stand without these major companies arose. As it is, the CEO predicts a 40 percent drop in cellphone sales.

To temper some of these trust issues, Huawei is rolling out a new program in the Philippines, promising consumers a full refund if Google and Facebook-owned apps such as Youtube, Whatsapp, and Instagram won’t work in their phones. There are over 20 smartphones and tablets included in the program.

The Philippines is a leader in mobile usage. Thirty-two per cent of the population reportedly used a smartphone in 2018. That number is expected to rise to 40 per cent in 2021. Filipinos also spend the most time online and are the most active on social media, spending an average of four hours, according to a report by We Are Social and Hootsuite. 67 per cent accessed social media through their phones.

While the company hasn’t confirmed whether they’d be extending this program across the rest of Asia, this may be its way of testing the waters.

As embattled as Huawei currently is, it seems determined to challenge these American giants on a number of fronts. It overtook Apple as the second largest smartphone maker in the world, second only to Samsung. It’s currently going head-to-head with the U.S. in the development of 5G networks. To combat its fallout with Google’s Android operating system, it has also recently confirmed the development of its own operating system as a “Plan B.”