MANILA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Call center agent Thea Andal is not worried about the reports that Google is restricting Chinese technology company Huawei's access to many of its apps following U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning U.S. firms from supplying services to the Chinese manufacturer.
Andal told Xinhua when she was buying a Huawei Nova 3i at a Huawei retail store at SM City Fairview in Quezon City on Friday, "It's cheap and high-tech. Very stylish." She bought the smartphone for 14,990 pesos (about 292 U.S. dollars).
Andal decided to ditch her iPhone for a Huawei smartphone in spite of reports that Google apps and services will no longer be available for future versions of the Android operating system on Huawei's smartphones.
Like Samsung phones, Huawei devices run Google's Android operating system, meaning that its users have to rely on popular Google apps and and services such as the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, Photos, Chrome and YouTube, as well as non-Google ones such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
But Andal, as one of the Filipino customers who came to the grand opening of the Huawei store on Friday, is unfazed. Store promoter Jeony Mondejar said 20 other customers also bought Huawei smartphones since the store opened at 10 a.m.
"We still encounter customers who are a little bit wary about Huawei smartphones because of the controversy but Huawei is sill a popular choice for many customers," Mondejar told Xinhua.
"We tell the customers about the "special warranty program" and after-sales services that we offer to Huawei phone users," Mondejar added.
All devices covered by this special warranty will have no issue concerning usage of Google apps and services, Mondejar said.
This special warranty is offered exclusively by participating dealers to provide a worry-free experience for consumers with their new Huawei device. Retail partners such as MemoXpress, Rulls, and around 100 more support the program, reassuring consumers that all Huawei devices purchased from them are fully equipped with ready-to-go Google services.
Meanwhile, the Philippines said in May that Washington's decision to ban Huawei and its products in the U.S. has "a little impact" in the Philippine telecommunications industry.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the U.S. executive order will only affect the U.S. companies, preventing these companies from supplying Huawei with software and hardware components.
"This may affect the supply chain of the Chinese company but it will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry," the DICT said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) also said in May that it has conducted an investigation into reports that Huawei is into espionage and found no evidence.
PNP spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac said the PNP anti cybercrime group (ACG) coordinated with law enforcement agencies from other countries when the issue first cropped up.
"We have not obtained pieces of evidence that would prove Huawei spied on us. We have been receiving information about the alleged espionage but there is no proof on that," Banac told reporters.
The Philippines' industry giants PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. also downplayed the U.S. government's blacklisting of Huawei, saying Huawei handsets and devices "will continue to function normally."
PLDT and Globe Telecom issued separate statements last month assuring their users that the U.S. move to ban Huawei has no impact on their services.
Sales promoter Mondejar at Huawei SM City Fairview Cyberzone is optimistic that Filipinos will continue to use Huawei devices.
"Huawei will win the hearts of Filipinos eventually," Mondejar said.