Huawei has certainly faced a rough couple of months lately.
First, the global leader in telecoms, hailing from China, faced US trade restrictions after president Donald Trump blacklisted it.
Share prices fell, affecting not just Huawei and its Asian suppliers, but several top US tech firms as well.
Things did look up when Trump shifted his stance on the ban, but it seems like trouble has now moved closer to home.
If you haven’t heard, Huawei’s S$54 phone promotion has caused quite a stir in Singapore.
The company announced that it will be selling the Huawei Y6 Pro 2019, at a discounted price of S$54 (original price is $198), in celebration of Singapore’s 54th birthday.
What’s the catch you may ask? The promotion is only applicable to Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 50 and above, and is valid from 26th to 28th July across all Huawei Concept Stores island-wide and selected retailers, while stocks last.
Each customer is entitled to purchase up to 2 handsets.
Huawei received quite an overwhelming demand for the discounted phones, so much so that the Singapore Police Force was activated.
Crowds thronged in snaking queues, with every elderly Singaporean in line eager to get their hands on the cheap phone…only to disappointing results.
Apparently, there was limited supply at each store, with some netizens commenting that certain outlets held as little as ten phones in stock.
Majority went home empty-handed, as tension in the queues escalated, and a lady fainting in the midst of an agitated crowd.
The situation went out of hand.
Huawei has since stepped out to apologise for the badly executed promotion, and called off the promotion on Friday, 26 July.
As of time of reporting, the Facebook post has received 3,700 comments, with many blasting the promotion and asking to be compensated.
The president of the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), Mr Lim Biow Chuan, also wrote in a post on his personal Facebook page on Monday, 29 July, calling the advertisement a “breach of the Consumer Protection Fair Trading Act (CPFTA)” and asked for public reprimand of the tech giant.
He said: “I hope that they (Huawei) will get their act together because they lost a lot of goodwill among the public. Hopefully, their marketing team will be sensible and find a way to win back their customers. I think they did their marketing very badly and ought to be rapped for it.”
Huawei appears undeterred as it is having another promotion for the Huawei Mate 20.
Let’s hope Singaporeans will not be disappointed again.