Huawei’s reputation in the US took a serious battering in 2018, a year bookended by major carriers shelving high-profile phone launches and the arrest of the company’s chief financial officer on fraud charges. Last week, however, a report and survey from the Financial Times suggested that the external controversies could actually be helping Huawei in its domestic market.

The FT report claims that Huawei’s struggles are “leading to a surge in the brand’s popularity among Chinese consumers and a sharp rise in the sales of its smartphones,” citing a 33 percent rise in consumers expressing an intent to buy a Huawei phone next.

The authors also asked sales staff in smartphone stores for comment; one said that “the arrest of [CFO] Meng Wanzhou has made Huawei a patriotic icon.”

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