Amid escalating tensions over the U.S.-China trade war, this reporter visited a Huawei store located in Sanlitun, Beijing, on Tuesday morning. A Chinese woman surnamed Liu in her thirties came out of the store and told this reporter that “I’m not buying Huawei products out of patriotism. The quality of iPhones isn’t like the old days. I would use anything with good quality, be it either a Huawei phone or an iPhone.” “I don’t agree on a thought that we should boycott Apple products to be patriotic,” she added. A 25-year-old consumer surnamed Zhao who also visited the Huawei store pointed out that “Being a patriot and buying a smartphone are separate matters. Buying domestic products is not an act of patriotism.”
However, things seem to be different on the Internet. On online platforms including China’s social media Sina Weibo, people are increasingly calling for a boycott on American products including Apple, inciting anti-U.S. sentiments.
Yet, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei has said in an interview with the Chinese media such as CCTV that even his child likes Apple, not Huawei, and that his entire family uses iPhone products. He also said he gives laptops produced by Apple to his family for gifts. “The entire society’s patriotic sentiment tends to be tied to Huawei,” he commented. “We are stopping people from chanting (patriotic sentiment). We shouldn’t instigate national sentiment.”
In the meantime, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday laid a floral basket at a monument marking the departure of the Long March by the party’s Red Army in the 1930s in Yudu County, Ganzhou city, Jiangxi province. Xi’s visit was accompanied by Vice Premier Liu He, China’s trade negotiator in the talks with the United States. Analysts say that the president’s trip signals Beijing’s determination in the protracted trade spat with Washington.
Wan-Jun Yun firstname.lastname@example.org