Tourists with a Huawei mobile phone now have free admission to a popular tourist site in central China’s Henan province. The management office of Shennongshan Park has announced that users of phones and other gadgets made by Huawei and other Chinese companies will not need to pay to enter the national park.

The park’s management team said on their Weibo account that the preferential treatment to be accorded to Huawei users was out of patriotism and that they wanted to show their support to domestic brands when they are faced with politically motivated boycotts overseas.

This has coincided with the emerging trend among members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and government employees who, either buoyed by genuine patriotism or under peer pressure, have ditched their iPhones or Samsung phones in favor of Huawei and its domestic rivals.

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The slogan reads ‘Love your country and buy Huawei.’ Photo: Weibo

While iPhone has been struggling to retain its pull in China amid lukewarm reception of its latest models in the country, Huawei’s top-tier smartphones have proved to be big hits among the nation’s moneyed class, whose members are becoming more discerning and less enamored with foreign offerings. Huawei’s localization of the Android operating system also suits the habits of Chinese users.

Huawei is on track to sell at least 200 million phones at home and abroad this year. The Shenzhen-based tech giant has already been commanding a stranglehold domestically, surpassing Apple, and has been reeling in customers in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and South America.

The combined global shipments of Huawei’s two smartphone brands, Huawei and Honor, are expected to reach 200 million by December 25, the president of Huawei’s smartphone division He Gang said on Monday.

Chinese media have also been told by the CPC’s propaganda department to dial up coverage of the ongoing row arising from Canada’s recent arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in a coordinated effort to whip up more patriotic sentiments among the masses.

Huawei released a new smartphone series, the Nova 4, this Monday, which features an in-screen front-facing camera – rather than a big notch that eats into the “full screen” like the new iPhones – and a three-lens, 48-megapixel rear camera, with enthusiastic feedback from trial users.

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