Huawei Pulls Out Of Raiders Sponsorship As Consumers & Governments Snub Chinese Brand
Huawei have thrown in the towel on their Canberra Raiders sponsorship as hundreds of staff at the Chinese Company are now being retrenched following bans by the Australian Government and a failure by the Company to get traction in the smartphone market.
The big question now is which other Chinese smartphone brand is set to come under pressure as Australians reject the intimidating actions of the Chinese Communist Government in banning Australian wine beef and mining products.
Earlier today Huawei tore up its major sponsorship contract with the Canberra Raiders, citing the “continued negative business environment” in Australia.
Earlier this year ChannelNews exclusively revealed that Huawei’s Australian Chairman John Lord had quit following the Federal Government bans on the roll out of Huawei 5G gear, now the Chinese Company is shedding of 500-plus local jobs following the loss of key contracts including the scrapping of a $200m deal last week to supply a radio communications system for Perth’s urban railway network.
Britain last month followed Australia and the United States in banning Huawei from supplying equipment for its 5G network.
The Chinese tech manufacturer has been a principal sponsor of the NRL franchise for almost ten years, and last year signed a deal to continue the relationship through the end of 2021; however, it has announced that current business conditions have had a larger-than-expected impact on revenue, leaving the sponsorship financially unsustainable.
Huawei was banned from participating in building Australia’s 5G networks by the Turnbull government in 2018, a year before the Trump administration added it to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List, banning US companies (including Google, which supplies the Android OS) from collaborating with or supplying the manufacturer.
The Huawei logo will be moved to the back of the Raiders jersey, but Huawei will continue to have its name on the Huawei Raiders Training Centre in Canberra.
Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Huawei Australia, says it is “disappointing” that the sponsorship is ending after having a successful partnership for so long.
“Even after the Turnbull government banned us from 5G we managed to find the resources to continue the sponsorship but we just can’t financially support it any longer.
“Our near decade as major sponsor of the Raiders has been one of the most successful in Australian sport and we are very sad that it has come to an end,” he said.
Raiders CEO Don Furner described Huawei’s commitment to the team as “unwavering”, noting the company as the team’s longest-serving major sponsor.
“This relationship has been about so much more than just a logo on a jersey, we have worked with Huawei on a number of very important community initiatives and fundraising opportunities for very worthwhile causes.
“We are very sad that they will be stepping back as major sponsor of the Raiders, but we are very proud of all that we have achieved together and we hope we can finish this season off successfully,” he said.