Many Hong Kong locals face problems with their Huawei Mate 9, Mate 10 and other models abruptly shutting down and becoming unusable after that. The company did not have an immediate solution but offered customers to reinstall the phones operating system which would eventually lead customers losing all their data stored on the device.
Hundreds of Huawei smartphone users were unhappy as they had to give up their photos and videos stored in their phone, many even expressed that they would not be using Huawei phones anymore.
Huawei service centre at Mong Kok was crowded with customers to have their dead phone repaired on the morning of May 29.
A customer Mr Lam told Hong Kong Oriental Daily that during late night on May 28, the screen of his Huawei smartphone turned white. Then, the phone could not turn on again. So he went to the service centre for help.
Lam said that the service centre spent two hours to repair his phone. While his phone did start working again, all his photos and documents disappeared. Lam also told he won’t be using Huawei phones in future.
According to the clerk in the service centre, Lam’s phone died while updating the system and the service centre had to reinstall the phone’s OS in order to make the phone work properly and which resulted in losing all the data in the phone.
According to another user, Ms Kwok, who owns a Huawei Mate 10, told local media Hong Kong 01 on May 29 that she bought her phone in March 2018. At 7 a.m. on May 29, she found that her phone was stuck in the middle of a system update. The phone’s screen was still lit until the phone ran out of battery at night. After she recharged her phone, it could not start up anymore, and the screen was all white.
“I use my phone to contact my customers for work. Today I couldn’t work because my phone died,” Kwok said. She hoped that the service centre could keep the files and photos saved on her phone that are very important to her.
Mr Lau has a Huawei Mate 9. He told Apple Daily on May 29: “When I turned my Huawei phone on this morning, it showed that it was upgrading the operating system automatically, as well as a music app. Then the phone stopped in the middle of updating and couldn’t even be turned off.”
The customer service solution was to reinstall the whole operating system since according to them the malfunctioning smartphones encountered trouble while upgrading the operating system. So far the reason is unclear. And some user did not accept this solution because o would erase all the data off the phone. Huawei customer service agreed to help out the customer by making a backup of h.er data but this would restrain her by not using her phone for several days.
So far, Huawei smartphones are the only devices with an Android system that have died while updating the operating system.
Francis Fong, honorary president of Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, told Apple Daily that it is very unusual for different models from the same brand to malfunction collectively.
Fong said although Google recently announced that it would suspend some of its business with Huawei, the ban has not started. “I don’t think this accident has any relation with Google,” Fong said.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei its 70 affiliates to a trade blacklist, effectively banning it from doing business with U.S. companies. Google was among a list of tech providers and chipmakers that announced it would suspend business with Huawei in order to comply with the new regulation.
Fong suggested that all Huawei smartphone users should not update the operating system for now, and turn off automatic updates.
Huawei responded to several Hong Kong media saying that it is aware of the situation and would need time to do an investigation and evaluation.
This maintenance issue would be the result of the export ban announced by the US and afterwards, several mobile carriers from the UK, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries have taken Huawei phones out of their lineup.