In a show of support for Huawei, some tourist attractions in China are offering free or discounted entry to people with Chinese smartphones.
The arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou this month in Vancouver not only sparked a diplomatic row between China and Canada, which detained Meng at the request of US authorities for allegedly violating sanctions. against Iran. It also appears Huawei, once a darling of the Communist Party, was snubbed during China’s celebration this week of the economic reforms that launched its growth 30 years ago.
But Meng can at least rest assured that China’s tourism industry is still on her side, as a growing number of tourist boards across the country offer patriotic promotions to customers of Huawei and other domestic phone makers.
The first to do so was Henan’s Shennong Mountain, a famous geological site in central China. On Dec. 15, he said he would admit any tourist with a Huawei cellphone to the park for free for two weeks. A few days later, the tourism office in Laoshan Baiyundong, a famous mountain in Hebei considered the birthplace of Taoism, followed suit, offering free entry (link in Chinese) to Huawei phone users for six days.
The latest is Jiangxi Wuyuan Tourism, a private company in southeastern China, which announced yesterday (December 19) that it was halving ticket prices (link in Chinese) to a dozen natural sites for any tourist with a Chinese mobile phone. .
For the Baiyundong tourism office, the decision was simply a way “to express patriotism”, a spokesperson told The Paper (link in Chinese), based in Shanghai. He added that it was “pure love for China, a small way to show support for China.”
On Chinese social media, the response to these ticketing gimmicks has been mixed. While some appreciated the discounts, others found them excessive. Weibo user Coco Xiaoqu said (link in Chinese) that he is unlikely to persuade people to buy Chinese phones. “When the quality of domestic products truly matches the quality of foreign products, unprofitable behavior will no longer be necessary,” she wrote.