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Huawei mobile users in Vietnam anxious after news of Google block

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 16:26 GMT+7
Huawei mobile users in Vietnam anxious after news of Google block
A Huawei P30 smartphone is on display at a smartphone store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

Many Huawei mobile owners in Vietnam have got uneasy after U.S. tech giant Google announced on Monday (Vietnam time) it would suspend most of its partnerships with the Chinese smartphone maker, threatening future access to such popular apps as Gmail and YouTube.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said it would comply with a U.S. government ruling to stop supplying Huawei, meaning its popular apps will no longer be offered to buyers of new Huawei smartphones.

Giant chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and Intel also quickly followed suit.

Like millions of consumers in other markets, Vietnam’s Huawei mobile users will likely be affected by this massive blow to the Chinese smartphone maker.

Some have pondered over switching to new brands, while others grasp this chance to buy Huawei handsets at cheap prices.

An attendant at a smartphone store in Ho Chi Minh City gives consultation to a customer. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

An attendant at a smartphone store in Ho Chi Minh City gives consultation to a customer. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

On the Hoi Nguoi Dung Huawei & Honor Vietnam, a closed group on Facebook for Huawei fans with nearly 20,000 members, some holders of existing Huawei smartphones have started to advertise their devices for sale.

A user named T.D. wanted to sell a newly-bought Huawei P30 Pro smartphone for VND23 million (US$989) in this Facebook group, only to be disappointed by other group members taking the price down to VND2-5 million ($86-215).

A Facebook user even jokingly offered VND500,000 ($21.5) for the latest premium Huawei smartphone.

Some others expressed their bewilderment as they have just bought Huawei devices for a few weeks.

“Huawei should come up with a solution,” said Dang Khiem, a Huawei user in Hanoi, affirming his belief that “such a global conglomerate will not let its business be affected by the suspension.”

Meanwhile, those who had their eyes on Huawei smartphones were already in two minds about buying the phones.

“We spend most of our time on smartphones to use such apps as Google and YouTube, so I cannot imagine what an expensive smartphone is for if it cannot provide access to the apps,” said Nguyen Minh Tuan, a 33-year-old smartphone consumer in Ho Chi Minh City.

A customer visits the Huawei counter at a smartphone store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

A customer visits the Huawei counter at a smartphone store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

An, manager of a smartphone store in District 1, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that sales of Huawei smartphones at his outlet slumped on the day news of the Google block broke.

At the same time, Vietnamese consumers also bombarded email addresses and phone numbers of local smartphone retailers with questions about the impacts of the suspension on their devices.

Addressing consumers’ concern, Huawei said on Monday it “would continue to provide security updates and services for its smartphones and tablets that have already been sold or are still in stock globally.”

“We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” the Chinese smartphone manufacturer affirmed in its statement to media.

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