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Shops are starting to decline Huawei trade-ins, because no one wants a brick

Updated May 25th, 2019 5:59PM EDT
Huawei phones
Image: Huawei

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In light of Google’s move to cut ties with Huawei, which puts Android updates in jeopardy as well as access to the Google Play Store for future Huawei phones, customers in Asia naturally worried those devices are about to become worthless are reportedly racing to trade them in.

Only to be increasingly turned away from shops in places like Singapore and the Philippines, where not only are the stores saying no way to Huawei — but they’re trying to dump the existing stock they already have.

“If we buy something that is useless, how are we going to sell it?,” Dylan On, a salesman at Singapore retail and repair shop Wanying Pte Ltd., told a Reuters reporter.

His fear that the handsets might be eventually “useless” stems of course from Google’s move over the weekend, which itself was a result of the Trump administration adding Huawei to a trade blacklist that immediately restricts its ability to do business with US companies. Google’s action immediately ratcheted up tensions between the US and China, with the US for a while now having sounded an alarm to pretty much anyone who’ll listen that Huawei may be a proxy for China’s central government as well as its national security apparatus.

The company line out of Huawei is that it’s nevertheless pressing full steam ahead, despite all of this — even launching a new phone in Britain on Tuesday. The company is also promising that it’s been prepping a mobile OS to replace Android as a Plan B for its devices, which could be ready as soon as later this year.

Nevertheless, a salesman at Singapore’s Mobile Square phone store told Reuters that there’s been a definite uptick in the number of customers trying to dump their Huawei handsets in recent days. It’s grown from about five people a day to 20 in the last two days. A phone salesperson in Manilla also told the news agency her store would only accept Huawei trade-ins at a 50% discount. Because selling them again, she explained, “will be a gamble.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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