Huawei’s mobile chief, Richard Yu, has admitted the exposure of the company’s memory substitution practices on the P10 were a “wake up call” that provided a “profound lesson”. Yu made the remarks in a letter initially shared internally with employees and later posted to his Weibo account, where he admits he responded “inappropriately” and that Huawei’s original stance was “arrogant”.
The letter comes a day after mention of UFS 2.1 memory on the Mate 9 product page reappeared, after mysteriously disappearing the day after the P10 story blew up. Huawei told Reuters it removed the Mate 9 UFS mention “to avoid confusion” while the company double checked to confirm all Mate 9 units supported UFS 2.1. The term appears to have been reinstated on all sites globally.
It’s led us to wonder whether we’ve been running too fast these past few years, or lost sight of our original vision.
Yu also announced he has set up a ‘customer listening taskforce’ and plans to lead the consumer business group management team on visits to retail stores and service centers to spend time with customers. Yu also vowed the company will “strive to be more considerate of consumers’ feelings” in future. Yu even pondered whether Huawei had been “running too fast these past few years, or lost sight of our original vision”. Huawei said no decisions had been made in response to a Reuters query regarding customer compensation or a device recall.
While such an admission of guilt is to be respected, only time will tell how sincerely the sentiment will be applied. A lot of consumers will simply see Yu’s statement as damage control and no longer trust the company’s products. Huawei is clearly aware of how significantly this situation has affected its public perception, both in its native China as well as abroad. But as Samsung showed in the wake of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, these issues can be overcome; it’s just a matter of getting back to work and checking the hubris at the door.
Here’s the full letter if you’re interested.