Huawei South Africa has expressed its gratitude to South African consumers for supporting it through the uncertain situation it finds itself embroiled in with the US government.
MyBroadband spoke to Huawei South Africa CBG general manager Zhao Likun about the effects of the trade ban on South African users.
Zhao assured South Africans that their devices would continue to function as normal, and all Huawei smartphones currently available in South Africa would ship with support for Google services, apps, and other US applications as they had done previously.
He also noted that Huawei’s customer base had expressed support for the company across social media, and thanked South Africans for standing behind the company.
“It is business as usual for Huawei,” Zhao said. “Huawei consumers in South Africa have been incredible throughout this entire situation.”
“South Africans have stood by Huawei and shown their love and support. The majority of South Africans are still using their products and they love it.”
“We want to say a big thank you to them for being able to do that and for loving the Huawei brand.”
Zhao told MyBroadband that Huawei was dedicated to delivering the best user experience and customer support in South Africa going forward, regardless of the consequences of the US trade ban.
“The priority for Huawei has always been to give our consumers the best experience,” he said.
“We believe that the current way we are operating – which is with Google and Android – is the best experience, and that is why we would love for that to continue.”
He added that Huawei remains on good terms with local mobile network operators, and the company’s operations in South Africa are not functionally impacted by the geopolitical situation playing out between itself and the United States.
“Our relationship with the network operators is still strong,” Zhao said. “When it comes to South Africa, we have no issues in that sense and actually we have no issues in consumer business.”
If Huawei is barred from using the official version of Google’s Android operating system following the 90-day reprieve granted to it by the US government, Zhao confirmed that the company has a “Plan B” prepared.
“Yes there are two options, but the priority for Huawei will always be what is going to give the consumer the best experience, and right now that is best delivered by Plan A.”
Plan A refers to the software suite currently offered on Huawei devices, comprising an EMUI skin running over a Google-certified version of Android.
“We cannot currently declare further details about our Plan B solution due to ongoing discussions with partners,” he said.
Zhao added that Huawei’s Plan B would share the same goal as its current Plan A implementation – delivering the best and least disruptive experience possible to customers.
He noted that the result of the US blacklisting is currently uncertain, but said that Huawei would provide more information on its plan once the consequences of the US decision were concretely defined.