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Huawei discount phone promotion leads to anger, arrest

A Huawei discount phone promotion has backfired causing shops to be shuttered and one indignant shopper arrested. 

The Chinese company promoted that its Huawei Y6 Pro 2019 model would be discounted from S$198 to $54 for consumers aged over 50 for three days beginning last Friday. But when hundreds of would-be buyers arrived at the company’s 27 stores across the island on Friday morning they were told stock had run out before opening hour, causing many to wonder if there was ever any stock in the first place, or the brand was adopting a bait-and-click tactic to get customers into stores. Instead of the $54 Y6, disappointed shoppers were offered another discount on a Huawei Mate 20, a promotion due to start on Saturday and since cancelled. 

Police were called to some of the stores where angry customers were demanding Huawei stick to its promise. A woman, aged 53, was arrested for trespass after refusing to leave one store.  

A Huawei spokesperson said the ‘Sold Out’ signs were put up by store employees before opening time in response to seeing the long queues formed outside.

Huawei posted this on their Singapore Facebook page.

“We are truly sorry to have disappointed those who have shown your support from early morning… Y6 Pro 2019 handsets have been sold out island-wide and have recorded an unprecedented surge of demand,” Huawei said in a statement to The Straits Times.

“The company would like to thank members of the public for their continued support and regrets the insufficient supply for the masses.”

Customers were less than placated, however. 

“How can it be that you are telling the public there is no stock before the store opens or the promotion starts?,” one customer asked. “Are you trying to fool people and make use of the nation’s 54th anniversary?”

Huawei launched the promotion celebrate the generation of Singaporeans that made great contributions to the nation’s development, ahead of the country’s 54th National Day on August 9.

The company did not reveal how many of the handsets were sold during the Huawei discount phone promotion or how many were available at each outlet. 

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