Huawei unwanted: Asian stores avoid phone trade-ins on Google suspension worries

SINGAPORE/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – the Mobile phone retailers in some Asian countries refuse to accept Huawei devices for trade-ins, as more consumers look to offload their device to make Google’s suspension of business with the Chinese company will disrupt services.

A Huawei logo is seen on Huawei’s Shanghai Research Center in Shanghai, China, May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

Google has said that it will comply with an order of the U.S. President Donald Trump to stop the delivery of Huawei, which means that the current owners of Huawei phones face being cut off from updates of the Android operating system from the end of August. New phones will lose access to popular apps like YouTube and google Chrome.

Against this background, a number of customers in Singapore and the Philippines have rushed to sell Huawei phones, according to the retailers and the online marketplace of information.

But there are a few participants.

“If we buy something that is useless, how are we going to sell it?,” said Dylan, a seller in Wanying Pte Ltd, a Singapore retail and repair shop.

“It’s not that Huawei is a bad product. It is a very good product. It’s just that no one wants to buy because of the AMERICAN policy,” he said, adding that he was looking to the sell of existing Huawei stock online to overseas buyers in the hope they are less aware of current events.

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment.

The company has said that it is developing its own software for the phone and it can still use an “open source” version of Android without access to Google apps. Huawei also started working with a new phone launch in the Uk on Tuesday, even as the number of users trading in their devices increased in Asia.

Earlier, about five people a day were looking to trade in their Huawei phones, but that has jumped to 20 in the last two days, said Zack, a seller of Mobile Square in Singapore, who declined to give his last name.

“Normally, you would people who want to trade in their old phones if they want to replace them by new,” he added. “Now you’re seeing people who want to trade in the most recent.”

Carousell, Singapore’s most popular online marketplace, said that the number of Huawei’s sales more than doubled, the day of the AMERICAN order was announced.

Huawei smartphones had 14 percent of the Singapore market last year, according to research firm Canalys.


Mobile telephone retailers in the Philippines are also to stay away from Huawei products.

“We are no longer accepting Huawei phones. It will not be purchased by our customers, ” Hamida Norhamida, a sales representative of new and used phones in Manila Greenhills shopping center told Reuters, adding that she felt relieved to have sold out its stock of Huawei P30 Pro for Google’s Monday announcement.

Another phone seller in Greenhills said they would only buy Huawei phones at a discount of 50%.

“The sale will be a gamble,” said the saleswoman, who would give her name only as Thelma.

But some see this as a chance to get the quality phone on the cheap. “My first reaction was fear that my current Huawei would be worthless,” Xin Yi, a 24-year-old student from Singapore, told Reuters. “But Google said current Huawei users will not be affected … after that I was relieved.”

She added that she is now in the market for a new Huawei model, on a marked-down price.

Earlier on Wednesday, Japanese telco KDDI Corp and SoftBank Corp, low-cost mobile brand Ymobile said that they would delay the launch of the Huawei P30 Lite smartphone to go on sale on Friday.

(Fixes typo in last paragraph)

Reporting Fathin Ungku and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Himani sarkar

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