Why Chinese Companies Are Now Boycotting Apple And Punishing Staff Who Own Their Products
Tech giants often have unique ways of mocking each other when it comes to their flagship devices.
However, recent tensions between Huawei and Apple have transcended far beyond the usual savage marketing tactics.
Existing tensions between US and China deteriorated following the arrest of Huawei's CFO "princess" Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities earlier this month
Meng's arrest on 1 December was reportedly ordered by the US following accusations that she covered up Huawei's links to a firm that tried to do business with Iran despite sanctions.
Reuters reported US prosecutors as claiming that Meng lied to banks about links between the two firms. The Huawei "princess" could face charges of conspiracy to defraud financial institutions, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge, if she gets extradited to the US.
10 days after her arrest, Meng was released on a GBP6 million (approximately RM31.7 million) bail, and is currently under 24-hour surveillance which requires her to wear an electronic ankle tag.
The arrest of Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei's founder, has rocked international stock markets and attracted condemnation from Chinese authorities and citizens
Unreserved reported that the Chinese government has since labeled Meng's arrest as an "extremely nasty kidnapping", and reportedly retaliated by detaining and trying Canadians on its soil.
Meanwhile, Nikkei Asian Review reported earlier this week that Chinese firms are urging their employees to boycott Apple products, and encouraging them to buy Huawei products instead.
Here are some of the ways Chinese companies are discouraging their employees from buying Apple products:
1. No job promotions
A textile company in China's Zhejiang province released a statement earlier this month, banning its employees from purchasing Apple products.
"Offenders will lose job promotions and subsidies if found purchasing Apple products," the statement read.
Meanwhile, employees who buy Huawei products will receive the following subsidies for their purchase:
- 50% subsidy of the product's cost for managerial level employees,
- 20% subsidy of the product's cost for regular employees, and
- 25% subsidy of the product's cost for regular employees who give up their Apple products for Huawei.
cnBeta reported that after two weeks of implementation, more than 50 employees of the company have switched to Huawei phones.
2. Fines that cost as much as the iPhones purchased
A tech company in Shenzhen city announced to its employees on 7 December that chips, phones, computers, and cars used by the company are no longer allowed to be purchased from the US.
"You will be fined 100% of the cost of your iPhone if you're caught buying one," the statement read.
Other points of the statement include:
- Huawei chips will be prioritised in the company's product designs,
- 15% subsidy of the product's cost will be given to employees who purchase Huawei phones,
- No US brands for computers and cars used by the company, and
- Employees who secure sales from the US will receive two times the commission stipulated.
The company added that the requirements above will be in effect for three years.
3. Confiscation of Apple devices
In the same report by Nikkei Asian Review, a machinery maker in Shenzhen city has threatened to confiscate Apple devices from employees.
Those who fail to hand over their Apple devices will be fired.
While companies in this part of the world have not banned Apple products, Huawei Singapore had a thoughtful gift for fans who were queuing for iPhones overnight in September:
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