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Huawei Sales Plunge In OZ, As Consumers Demand Refunds At JB Hi Fi

Huawei sales of their smartphones are slumping right round the world as well as in Australia, where consumers are walking into retailers and carriers demanding refunds on Huawei models they have already purchased.

Retail staff at carriers such as Optus and Vodafone as well as JB Hi Fi are now having to face up to angry customers demanding refunds.

Patrick Cooney is a Sydney based executive who purchased a Huawei smartphone from JB Hi Fi three months ago, last week he walked into JB Hi Fi North Sydney last week demanding a full refund on his Huewei P20 device which operates on the Telstra network.

“I don’t feel safe, there are major security issues around owning a Huewei smartphone” He said.

He told JB Hi Fi staff that he wanted the refund because the device they had been sold him would “not be able to get future Google Android updates. This is a security issue” he said.

He added “The device I purchased is not fit for purpose now”.

Huewei has forecast that international smartphone shipments of Huewei smartphones including their new P30 device will fall between 40 million to 60 million units due to as the Trump administration’s blacklisting hammers one of the Chinese tech giant’s most important businesses.

In Australia Huewei executives and their PR advisors have not commented on the extent of the slump in sales of their devices however retailers are claiming that sales of Huawei smartphones have “come to a standstill”.

“It’s not fashionable or smart to own a Huawei device today” said a Telstra store manager.

Huawei is also set to pull the latest model of its marquee overseas label, the Honor 20 which was launched earlier this month in London. They have also delayed the launch of their folding Smartphone due in part because of a lack of access to US components.

Already, two of France’s largest carriers aren’t bothering with the Honor at all, two people familiar with the matter said. Huawei sales and marketing managers are internally charting a drop-in volumes of anywhere between 40 million to 60 million smartphones this year, the people said.

That’s a big chunk of an international business that in 2018 accounted for almost half of the 206 million phones it moved. The unusually wide range underscores the uncertainty gripping Huawei, a Chinese national champion that Washington accuses of aiding Beijing in espionage — something the company has repeatedly denied.

On Monday, billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei confirmed the company had endured about a 40% drop in smartphone shipments abroad, which a company spokesman said referred to a fall over the past month.

Ren expects Washington’s sanctions to curtail its overall revenue by about $30 billion over the coming two years, wiping out the networking giant’s growth. Ren was surprised at the extent to which Washington attacked his corporation, but Huawei will maintain its research budget while refraining from layoffs or major asset sales, he added.

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