PwC China denies ban on Huawei, ZTE phones

By Zhang Hongpei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/19 17:56:10

A customer experiences Huawei's smartphones in Shanghai in May. Photo: VCG

Auditing and consultancy firm PwC China denied a Weibo post which said the firm excluded Huawei and ZTE in its internal device list, calling the post untrue and misleading to the public. 

"PwC always supports various mainstream smartphones and software, including Huawei and ZTE," it said Friday in a statement on its official WeChat account.

The comment followed a post by finance blogger Wangdalirushan on the Weibo account late Thursday, in which the London-based firm said in a notice sent to its employees Thursday that "We are required to remove colleagues who use Huawei and ZTE smartphones from the MobileIron system because PwC Global will exclude the two brands from the supporting device list."

MobileIron is PwC's internal system that secures devices and provides easy access to email, applications and content.

The move will affect the two brands' holders in receiving texts and using PwC's apps, according to the notice, which added that the firm will enforce the decision to exclude them on July 26.

"We have required relevant media to immediately correct and delete untrue content," said the PwC China statement, adding it will support development of domestic enterprises.

Huawei had no comment when reached by the Global Times on Friday.

The Weibo post, however, has sparked heated discussions with Chinese net users calling for PwC to be included in China's unreliable entity list.

A screenshot of the notice shows it was written in traditional Chinese, sparking some internet users to suspect the notice was sent not from the Chinese mainland but from PwC's offices in Hong Kong or Taiwan.

"Is PwC preparing to withdraw its business from China? The unreliable entity list is waiting there," a Weibo user said.

Another netizen named Dudupang said: "A firm can have the right to require a unified system among its employees, but in PwC's case, it targets Huawei and ZTE. There are also other smartphone brands like Samsung that use the Android system."

A PwC employee working in Beijing told the Global Times Friday that there has been no affect on colleagues who use Huawei phones for office work so far.

An employee surnamed Li who has been working in Deloitte, another global auditing and consultancy firm, told the Global Times Friday that "our internal communications have nothing to do with smartphone brands."

PwC had 394 partners and 12,751 staff members in the Chinese mainland as of July 1 last year, according to its website.


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