Huawei is thumbing the nose at US President Donald Trump with a super warranty that promises a 100 per cent refund on smartphones if key US-origin apps cease to function within two years of purchase. The warranty that will initially be launched in the Philippines will cover Google services like Gmail and YouTube and Facebook and its associates like Instagram and WhatsApp. The defiant announcement followed Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei's statement that the company could miss its revenue numbers for 2019 by a wide margin of $30 billion, a media report says.
Huawei, which has been the target of a sustained US campaign involving national security, said its smartphone sales would plummet as much as 60 per cent. But the company might be testing a blueprint for Chinese companies hit by the worsening US-China trade wars. "Huawei will give you a full refund if its device can't run Google and Facebook apps," reported Huawei Central. The offer is a response to softening sales and an attempt to shore up consumer confidence, the report on the Forbes website says. Local media reported that the dealers are offering the warranty on Huawei devices purchased until August. Huawei confirmed the offer, telling one local outlet that "it's an initiative of our distributors with our dealers".
Bloomberg has reported that the company is expecting up to 60 per cent fall in international smartphone shipments. There was even speculation that Huawei might "pull the latest model of its marquee overseas label, the Honor 20" if sales are poor, although that has been denied by company sources, the report says.
Huawei has held on to its number two spot after Samsung for global smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2019 but is now losing ground to Apple in the third position. "We did not expect that the US would attack us with such determination and on such a large scale," Ren said.
Last year, Huawei capped a great decade by breaking into the $100-billion revenue club for the first time. The company does not expect that kind of growth any more and expects a sharp decline.
Huawei "will see new life in 2021", Ren said, after explaining that revenues would fall short this year and next. Smartphone growth was the driver of Huawei's overall growth last year, and this had seemed relatively secure against US action until the blacklisting hit the supply chain, according to the report. Huawei will be negotiating unchartered territory from now on amid reports that the company is testing its proprietary Hongmeng OS. President Trump has warned that all companies domestic and foreign that sell or supply US-origin technologies or products to Huawei will be blacklisted.