Huawei entered the top-hundred bracket for the first time, ascending easily from 904 in 2015, to 863 in 2016, to 202 in 2017, to 158 in 2018 and finally 83 this year, making it China’s top home-grown brand throughout Asia Pacific in 2019.
Its Chinese electronics peer Xiaomi made a phenomenal jump three years ago, but has been shuffling along its perch since then. Huawei climbed faster in its overall ranks and gained ground ahead of Xiaomi, which barely scraped through into the 99th spot of the Asia classroom just as the bell rang.
While main domestic rival Xiaomi may benefit from Google's curtailing of Huawei's access to its Android operating system, Huawei's freeze-out from Android has in fact accelerated a boycott of Apple as the Sino-US trade war rages on.
The brand's PR work within the mainland has been fairly successful in framing the US government's (and the western media's) prosecution as without merit. In general, Chinese public sentiment towards its national champion is linked more and more to patriotism, as if Huawei 'took one for the team'.
And Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei's stance on being against any retaliatory sanctions on Apple has only increased the backing from Chinese consumers—and diplomats defending Huawei on all fronts, including on American television Fox News and American social networking service Twitter.
One latest example is Zhao Lijian, deputy chief of mission of China in Pakistan, who attacked Apple on Twitter by posting a meme (one of many) showing how Huawei's logo is, in fact, Apple being cut into eight slices.
I am wondering if this is the real meaning of Huawei’s logo. pic.twitter.com/cj3AmrsINY— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) June 8, 2019
Even though the joke was on him as he tweeted from his iPhone, that's not enough to overturn Huawei supporters' unbridled positivity, with the situation reversed in social listening reports outside China. "It's a classic case of polarisation of opinion on both sides," commented David Ko, SVP and Asia lead at RFI Asia, who does not believe the Chinese findings are the result of censorship but "a genuine groundswell of indignation at perceived overreaching on the US side".