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My Huawei phone and trade war

  • Retaliation should not be the primary response in a conflict in our Global Village, as retaliation will only bring on more counter-retaliation moves, in the end setting the whole Village ablaze. Photo courtesy: AFP

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

Let's start with the fact that I'm now using a Huawei handset.

Prior to this, I used Nokia, Motorola, Alcatel, Blackberry...

New generation people may not know what those things are. To them, they may represent the infantile stage of mobile telecommunication which can only be seen today in a mobile phone museum.

As a senior handset user, I am proud to say that I have witnessed the history of mobile phone evolution.

Later into the smartphone era I used Samsung, Asus and iPad.

It never crossed my mind that one day I would use a made-in-China phone!

The impression I had of a Chinese phone was that of a cheap counterfeit.

A colleague brought back an iPhone-lookalike from China some years ago that lasted not more than six months.

That was, of course, over ten years ago, but my encounter with a Chinese phone indeed created a deep phobia inside me which stayed with me until I got this Huawei phone.

I had the guts to buy one because of the omnipresent ads, highly positive feedback from friends, and a truly attractive package.

Of course, I wasn't without the slightest reservation when making the decision. I was worried it wouldn't last long, its battery would be overheated, or a very slack processor, among others.

But, almost a year now all these concerns have been proven overstated. In its stead, I have discovered some of its strengths, including a very lasting battery, excellent photo shooting capability and powerful impact-resistance.

No, I'm not here to promote Huawei, and I'm sure Samsung and iPhone can just perform as well.

What I was trying to say is that a made-in-China phone is no more the cheap counterfeit we used to know. Made-in-China products can be as good and competitive as anything else, and I'm not just talking about Huawei!

Perhaps my next phone will still be another Huawei!

The bad thing is, the Trump administration is slapping tough restrictions on China in the midst of a heated trade war, from hunting down Huawei's Meng Wanzhou to barring US companies from selling parts to the Chinese tech giant.

My next Huawei smartphone may not have Google, Android or even Bluetooth.

Many current and potential Huawei customers will be affected. It has been reported that mobile phone dealers in Singapore are already selling down their Huawei phones even if existing models are not subjected to the ban.

I sympathize with Huawei. Meng is not the only victim in this war but the entire Huawei has been taken hostage by Donald Trump.

In the American cowboy culture, hostage-taking is an act of the coward, which is what the cowboy president is doing right now.

As if that is not enough, Trump's action has resonated very well with the American public, save for a handful of economists. Even the Democrats, Trump's sworn rivals, are dancing to his tune.

Thanks to propaganda from the government and rightist media, the American public think that Trump has been doing an excellent job, as they believe China has exploited the free trade facility and Washington's tolerance to dominate the American market, squeezing out many small and medium-sized American companies and putting countless of American citizens out of job.

As for the Chinese, they believe the US government is trying to strangle Chinese products and the Chinese government with the ultimate motive of crippling China's peaceful rise.

The US-China trade war will very likely go on well after Trump's presidency because it entails the core benefits as well as future status of these two powers.

Once the trade war escalates, the entire world will feel the impact, from Huawei users in Malaysia to the country's stock market and currency.

I like the response from Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei. Although he is the number one victim in this whole thing, he opposes to China's retaliatory action against Apple and the emerging anti-American sentiment across his country.

Retaliation should not be the primary response in a conflict in our Global Village, as retaliation will only bring on more counter-retaliation moves, in the end setting the whole Village ablaze.

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