HOLD on to your Huawei smartphones. China’s biggest phone maker may be in deep, deep trouble, but the fight isn’t
over yet.

The past week, I received several messages
from friends asking me how my Huawei phones were. It wasn’t surprising though,
as I usually get several queries about the latest Huawei phones I’m using and
for my recommendations.

But I was in Singapore and was trying to
limit my social-media activity to Facebook and Instagram stories, so I had no
clue as to what was happening. That is, until I updated my notifications and
saw the news about Google cutting its ties (temporarily) with Huawei—the first
of which was shared by my dad.

In the latest show of force by the US
government against China (with Huawei as the bargaining chip), the US
Department of Commerce has placed Huawei on its “Entity List” that restricts US
companies such as Google from supplying components and services to the
Shenzhen-based firm because of national security concerns—concerns which the US
actually has yet to show some actual proof of.

It is not clear how long the ban will remain
in effect but Huawei has gotten a 90-day reprieve that allows it to maintain
existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei phones.
Huawei officials said the company was “ready” for the restrictions and have
been stockpiling on US components but still, having no access to the Google
Play store will have a huge impact to its market outside China.

If you are currently using a Huawei device,
there is nothing to worry about as your phones won’t be affected, and there’s
no reason to panic or go running to Greenhills to trade in your phones as
Google Play will continue to function. 

Huawei quickly released a statement assuring that they will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor devices.

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to
the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key
global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to
develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry.

“Huawei will continue to provide security
updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone
and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally.

“We will continue to build a safe and
sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all
users globally.”

Putting a brave face on the situation, Huawei
said it has been developing their own OS for quite some time, but let’s face
it, trying to sell smartphones without Google’s cooperation could only go from
bad to disastrous. Remember BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, MeeGo, Symbian, Palm
OS, Bada (and later Tizen)? They all belong to the tech graveyard of the mobile
OS corpses Android has put down. Simply put, app-less operating systems simply
do not stand a chance against the contemporary iOS-Android duopoly. Just look
at Amazon: despite all its clout and influence, the company couldn’t do it with
the Amazon Appstore. Huawei stands even less of a chance and it would be harder
for app developers to try a new platform that’s born of adversity and political
conflict.

The bigger gut punch some experts say is the
withdrawal of ARM. This could be devastating since ARM provides an integral part
of their Kirin processor design. Huawei licenses many of ARM’s technologies in
the design of their own chipset, forming the foundation of their Kirin
processors produced by their HiSilicon subsidiary. This means they cannot
produce their own chips without a license from ARM since their designs are
proprietary and not open source. ARM’s designs form the foundations of many
chipset designs that are produced by many manufacturers, including Samsung,
MediaTek, Qualcomm and HiSilicon. This presents a bigger problem for the
company as they won’t be able to create their future processors and chipsets
without tech guidance from ARM.

This is really sad news for Huawei users as
it is obvious that the company’s phone business is just collateral damage, as
the real target is the company’s 5G infrastructure ambitions.

As a Huawei user, I’m still hoping that the
company finds a resolution in time for the launch of their next big flagship
series, the Huawei Mate 30.

REALME ‘MOBILE LEGENDS’ EPIC WEEKEND

“MOBILE Legends: Bang Bang” players battled it out on the launch stage of realme Philippines’s latest smartphone, the realme 3 Pro. With enemies slain, Team Mortal Godz, led by Nik Anoche, emerged victorious, winning a cash prize of
P25,000, six units of realme 3 Pro and 1,800 in-game diamonds for each player.

The Mobile Legends tourney, which was
livestreamed across the realme Philippines’s social-media pages, was
participated in by players from the realme Philippines community, the media and
celebrity gamers Ako si Dogie, Roller Gaming, Ellona Francisco, Suzzysaur,
Karolina Spicegirl, Kimberlee Arcillas, Sh1nboo, Manjean and Chin Valdes. The
realme 3 Pro was the official tournament device.

The realme 3 Pro is poised to elevate gaming
experience in the sub-15K smartphone segment. Its launch—the first in the
country to host a MOBA tourney—reflects its position as a gaming champion in
the midrange sector.

Gamers and streamers can expect only optimum
performance in their newest hero, the realme 3 Pro. Running on a Snapdragon 710
processor and a 4045mAh battery, the realme 3 Pro is the latest gaming
essential with solid speed and performance to take your gaming experience to
the next level without having to worry about overheating or abrupt delays.
Keeping up with the brand’s promise of speed, the phone’s fast-charging feature
powered by VOOC 3.0 technology enables gamers to get back on track faster than
usual. 

The realme 3 Pro is also packed with a 25MP
selfie camera and 16MP+5MP rear cameras powered by Sony IMX 519 image sensors.
With Super Nightscape and Chroma Boost Mode features, users can capture every
winning moment anytime of the day.

Fans can choose from two realme 3 Pro
variants: 4GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB storage variants for P12,990 and P14,990,
respectively.

Exclusive to all realme kiosks on May 25 and
26, ranked Mobile Legends players with Grand Master, Epic, Legend and Mythic
status can get up to 1,000 in-game diamonds with every purchase of a realme 3
Pro. Slots per kiosk are limited, so purchasers are encouraged to claim early
and be ready to present their Mobile Legends ID to qualify.

Nonranked Mobile Legend players are
encouraged to find a ranked friend to qualify for the promo themselves. Mobile
Legend ranked players can also encourage their friends to avail themselves of
the realme 3 Pro and kick-off their elevated mobile gaming experience. 

RBAP CHAMPIONS DIGITALIZATION

TO promote financial inclusion and the
importance of digital financial services, the Rural Bankers Association of the
Philippines (RBAP) held its 66th Annual National Convention in Baguio City.

Leaders of rural banks, financial regulators,
and leading international companies assembled at this year’s convention to
explore new ways to reach unbanked individuals in rural communities through digital
strategies.

Rural banks act as pivotal players in remote
areas where large commercial banks have little to no presence, continuously
championing financial inclusion in the Philippines. Earlier in 2019, Cantilan
Bank, one of the largest rural banks in the Philippines, became the first
financial institution regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to
pioneer cloud-based technology.

The BSP had Cantilan Bank in a
“test-and-learn” sandbox environment for 18 months, while the rural bank’s
digital transformation was supported by the Asian Development Bank. Cantilan
chose Oradian, a Software-as-a-Service company that serves over 45 financial
institutions in the Philippines, as their strategic partner and technology
provider.

Numerous financial institutions in the
Philippines are moving their core banking operations to cloud-based systems to
reach and serve their most remote clients. Ahon sa Hirap Inc. (ASHI) serves
more than 74,000 clients through 60 branches.

When looking for a new core banking platform,
ASHI prioritized access to real-time data and the ability to generate accurate
reports.

In 2017, ASHI migrated their entire
operations to Instafin, Oradian’s cloud-based core banking platform. Before the
end of 2018, ASHI had not only digitalized all its branches, but opened eight
new branches using the platform.

RBAP has enabled rural banks in the
Philippines to share global best practices in banking, addressing pressing
industry matters and tightening the community in an effort to move forward on
the national financial inclusion mission.

CASHLESS VACATIONS

LEADING the charge in increasing the adoption
of “cashless” payment systems all around the country, PayMaya further expanded
the mobile payment ecosystem in Boracay in time for the summer through PayMaya
QR.

Beachgoers around the recently reopened island popular for its white sand beaches can now pay using only their mobile phones in hundreds of merchants all across Boracay, ranging from food establishments, hotel and accommodations, merchandise, micro-sellers, and even transportation, among many others.

PayMaya is now the preferred payment option
in some of the merchants in Boracay where users can pay using their app,
including restaurants, like Spice Bird in D’Mall, Titos near Station 2, and
Sunny Side Café in Station 3; convenience store like Budget Mart; plus Epic
Bar, among many others.

This is on top of the initial batch of merchants that have been offering PayMaya QR as a payment method in Hue Hotels and Resorts as well as small merchants in Station X, which was launched in January of 2018, including other nationwide key merchants, such as McDonald’s, Army Navy, Yellow Cab, Shakey’s, and Mercury Drug.

At the same time, vacationers can add money to their accounts through especially designated Add Money kiosks around the island, as well as via Palawan Express branches within Boracay. Additionally, they can add money to their accounts even before flying to Boracay through their online banking accounts via Instapay.

The initiative is seen to further boost the tourism industry and the local economy in Boracay, which was just recently reopened following a six-month closure for rehabilitation by the government.

It also follows PayMaya’s establishment of similar “cashless communities” all around the country—including areas such as La Union, Baguio, Cebu, and General Santos, among others.

By establishing a mobile-based cashless ecosystem in the island, commerce is expected to flow more smoothly and help reduce the friction and risk of paying via cash. All consumers would need is their mobile phones in order to pay for their purchases.



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