Extending support to Huawei which is facing immense pressure from the US, Chinese companies have rallied behind the tech giant, offering hefty discounts to employees to buy Huawei devices and shun iPhones. 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.
“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,” said the report. Over 20 Chinese companies also took to social media to announce that they will increase purchases of other Huawei products, the report added. Some other Chinese companies are also boycotting Apple.
“According to Chinese media, a Shanghai-based business association said it would expel anyone who bought Apple products,” said the report.
The diplomatic row over Huawei has escalated after China reacted to its CFO’s arrest, arresting the second Canadian in China in December in a potential act of retribution. The Canadian Foreign Ministry identified the national as Michael Spavor, founder of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, a Canadian-owned China-based company that helps to facilitate trips to North Korea.
China earlier arrested Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who currently works for the non-profit organization International Crisis Group as its northeast Asia senior adviser. A Chinese court in December banned the sale and import of most iPhone models after granting Qualcomm an injunction against Apple. Qualcomm claimed that Apple violated two of its patents. To avoid the ban, Apple released a small update to iOS last week, saying that iOS version 12.1.2 contains software changes exclusive to China.