Huawei retracts statement made against competitor brand

Huawei P9

( – By: Malati Siniah

Huawei’s press release of its latest P9 phone has been thrust into the spotlight when local tech website, Malaysian Wireless, highlighted comments made by the brand on its competitor Samsung.

In its article titled “Huawei says: Samsung Galaxy S7 edge in Malaysia “disappointing”, “over-pricing” & “lacking innovation” published yesterday, the online publication picked up a quote from the brand’s press release highlighting how Huawei was eyeing Samsung’s Malaysian market share with the launch of its P9 series.

The release as indicated by the article title by Malaysian Wireless stated that the results of Samsung Galaxy S7edge’s launch in Malaysia was due to over-pricing and lacking innovation. The statement was not tied to any reports or studies done by the brand as a basis of this observation.

The article by Malaysian Wireless, however, pointed out, that the Samsung S7 had sold close to 10 million units globally based on the analyst firm, Counterpoint Research and Korea Investment & Securities.

The article has been making its rounds in the online sphere having close to 50 shares, over 300 likes and readers actively commenting on the Facebook post picking sides,

Very ballsy to come out with an official press release for something like this. I just bought my first Huawei phone, mate 8 two weeks ago. Really impressed with the battery life. Best I got was 7 hours screen on time. smile emoticon rm2399 against s7 edge rm3099 seems like a good deal” – Kevin Lim

“I believe in promoting ur own brand rather than condemning ur competitors openly. Pls show us the value of ur product and consumer will know which to choose.” – Mike Yap

So far there has been no social backlash on either brand’s official Facebook pages as a result of this.

When contacted by MARKETING Ogilvy PR, the brand’s agency, on behalf of Huawei mentioned that they had issued a retraction of the article and apologized for the error.

So is it wise to weave your competitor’s name into your PR narrative? We ask industry expert, Jui Hong Teoh, Managing Director of Brandthink Malaysia.

I believe that competitive advertising in this country (such as openly naming and barraging your competition) is actually not allowed. That’s why you see brands using things like Brand A vs Brand B”

“On the wider context, for example, say in the US, that rule doesn’t apply so I think it’s fair game going after your competitors, should you believe your product offers a much more superior experience.” Jui Hong shared.

An example of a brand which does it right? Look no further then Apple shared Jui Hong who mentioned that the brand often went head to head with its competitors pointing out its superior advantages. Oftentimes the brand highlights the ‘adoption rate of the OS vs the paltry adoption rate of Android’ he shared.

So what should a brand do when attempting to do the same? The rule of thumb is to be professional shared Jui Hong, and the most important factor would be to back up any claims with facts.

“The holy grail to this of course is being able to point out competitor’s deficiency without ever having to mention them by name. And showing facts that are so much more superior (like iOS adoption rate, iOS profitability etc).”

Sharing his thoughts on the recent incident Jui Hong commented,

“On the specific issue of Huawei vs Samsung, honestly, there isn’t any lost love for either as both of them practice this type of brand mud-slinging. Like what they say, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.”

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