Top Henan tourist site waives ticket fees for Huawei users

2 min read
Shennong Mountain (Image credit: Baidu)

A well-known tourist site in China’s central Henan province has promised Huawei smartphone users free entry into the scenic park, showing support for the country’s 5G pioneer amid trouble abroad.

Shennong Sightseeing Park, located in the city of Jiaozuo and famed for its mountain views, will waive a RMB 80 (around $12) entry fee if visitors show their Huawei or Huawei Honor smartphones and subscribe to the tourist site’s official WeChat account when they arrive.

The support for Huawei comes after the arrest of the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada. Meng faces extradition to the US and has been accused of alleged fraud charges related to violating sanctions on Iran. She has since been released on bail.

Shennong is classified among the top tier sightseeing areas in China by the government. It ranks among other tourist sites including the Forbidden City and the Yellow Mountains, which are seen as holding the highest level of natural beauty or cultural value.

“Bring your Huawei phone, and shoot amazing photos at Shennong Mountain,” the notice announcing the ticket fee waiver reads.

“With our new project ‘bridge above the sky’, we wish Huawei supporters around the world all the best!”

The free passes are part of a “short-term promotion,” according to The Paper, taking place from Dec. 16 to Dec. 29. Smartphone users will still be required to pay for on-site services, including transportation.

The notice hasn’t been without criticism. On popular messaging app WeChat and microblogging platform Weibo people asked why only Huawei and Honor users were eligible for free entry. Users said that the treatment should be extended to other smartphone brands to acknowledge other “Made in China” players.

Critics have voiced concern over whether a tourist site, whose financial earnings belong to the state, has the right to waive ticket fees.

This isn’t the first time privileges have been granted to Huawei users. Last week, Menpad Technology, a Shenzhen-based manufacturer of LED and display said it would provide subsidies to employees who bought Huawei smartphones. It also said it would fine staff who bought iPhones and wants to prohibit them from buying vehicles from American companies.

Huawei has also seen increased scrutiny from members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, as well as their allies. Australia, New Zealand, and the UK have moved to limit Huawei’s influence on their telecommunications infrastructure, while Japan has put a plan in motion to block the company from government procurement.