Source: Global Times Published: 2018-12-10
The escalating tensions between China and the US fueled by the detention of a top Huawei executive have spurred some Chinese enterprises and people to boycott US products.
In a statement published by Menpad, a Shenzhen-based smart products provider, on Monday, the company said it will prioritize to use Huawei's chips and give its employees a 15 percent subsidy on the market price of Huawei cell phones to support Huawei.
The company vowed to punish its employees if they are found to purchase Apple's iPhones, Huawei's major competitor. The penalty equals the iPhone's market price. It also added that the company will stop purchasing US-branded computers and cars and also offer a double bonus to employees who obtain export orders to the US.
A manager surnamed Sun from the company's marketing department told the Global Times that the announcement aims to support domestic products and companies.
"Although we have cooperation with Huawei, the detention has no impact on our business. The announcement is meant to support Chinese companies," Sun said, adding that the punishment only targets those who buy iPhones after the announcement.
Aside from Menpad, another Sichuan-based IT company, Chengdu RYD Information Technology Company, also announced that it is requiring all of the company's equipment to be Huawei products. The company is also offering a similar subsidy to those who buy Huawei products.
An employee from the company's sales department told the Global Times on Monday that the announcement was issued on Thursday and does not intend to force its employees to buy Huawei products.
"We just want to show our company's sense of patriotism and the subsidy benefits our staff," the employee said. She said some of her colleagues have started applying for the benefits and the announcement is popular.
Other announcements circulating online also showed that more companies have joined the boycott. Shaanxi-based Li'an Development Group said in a statement on Thursday that the group's data center only allows equipment purchases from Huawei, unless the products are irreplaceable.
The company also requires its mid-level management to use Huawei products and offers a subsidy of at least 20 percent to its employees who buy Huawei products.
An unverified statement issued by the Sichuan Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai on Sunday said that it requires its members to boycott Apple products and support Huawei.
The statement said Huawei is a national enterprise that Chinese people are proud of and called for all Chinese people to unite to fight US hegemony.
The statement read that the chamber's board and branch supervisors will be removed from their positions if they are found buying Apple products. It is also giving a 10 percent bonus to those who buy Huawei cell phones without a limit on the number and persons.
The chamber did not comment as of press time.
However, some netizens said it is stupid to boycott US products as revenge and the right way is to make the country itself stronger. Some accused the boycott as a public stunt.
Zhang Yiwu, a Chinese literature professor at Peking University, told the Global Times that the boycott is in line with market preferences and the companies' choice.
"The boycott should not be seen as ultra-nationalism," Zhang said.
Zhang Yiwu is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.