Wed, Aug 21, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Major telecoms to restart Huawei sales

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

A Huawei smartphone is displayed at the Thailand Mobile Expo in Bangkok on May 30.

Photo: EPA-EFE

The nation’s two main telecoms are to restart “normal” sales of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) smartphones and plan to introduce the company’s latest model after the US granted the Chinese firm another 90-day reprieve on doing business with US enterprises.

This also means that Google is to continue supporting updates to Android-based apps on Huawei mobile phones, including Gmail, Google Map and YouTube, at least until Nov. 19.

The US in May blacklisted Huawei, banning US companies from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant due to national security concerns.

The first reprieve issued by Washington expired yesterday.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) said that it would restart ordering Huawei smartphones following a regular procedure to meet customer demand rather than selling existing models, such as the Huawei P30 Pro, which it had purchased before May.

The nation’s biggest wireless services provider is scheduled to sell Huawei’s latest flagship phone in October at the earliest, an industry source said.

Chunghwa Telecom, which is 35 percent owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, was the first local telecom that suspended sales of Huawei’s new handsets in May.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) said that it also plans to introduce the latest Huawei smartphones, while still selling older models in brick-and-mortar stores and on its Web site.

“Far EasTone will continue offering existing Huawei models in stores and will introduce new models featuring Google Mobile Services,” the company said.

The decisions followed similar announcements from the firms’ Japanese peers.

KDDI Corp and Softbank Corp have already restarted Huawei phone sales, while NTT Docomo Inc is to begin accepting preorders today.

Huawei last quarter overtook Apple Inc to become the world’s No. 2 smartphone vendor after shipping 58.7 million units worldwide, seizing a 17.6 percent market share, while Apple shipped 33.8 million units for a 10 percent market share, International Data Corp statistics showed.

Samsung Electronics Co remained the top vendor with a 22.7 percent market share.

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