Since news about how the government wanted a third telecommunications company to give the existing telcos in the country a “run for their money,” several Facebook pages have surfaced bearing the name of the Chinese telco but technology websites and netizens called these fake pages out.
Technology site YugaTech called the page “China Telecom Philippines” as a fake page.
We found the Facebook page sharing what appears to be a price list for its plans, claiming that the Chinese telco will offer 50 Mbps data package for only P999; 100 Mbps for P1599; 200 Mbps for P2499; and 1 Gbps for P9999. It further claimed that it does not impose data capping, provides “all unlimited” service, and follows a “no date fare use policy.” Notice how it got the spelling wrong for “fair use” policy, though.
One of the netizens also pointed out the grammatical errors in the page.
Someone asked if the page can prove its legitimacy and the admin replied that it was on its way to get verified by Facebook.
But it has already been called out so let’s see if it really gets verified. The page was only created on December 27, but it has already amassed over 80,000 followers.
Another tech site, NoypiGeeks, called out the page “China Telecoms Philippines Ltd.” as another fake page.
“PSA: This China Telecoms Philippines Ltd. page is FAKE,” the page wrote.
The netizens agreed with the fake branding, considering how the page also provided a pricing plan even before they have prepared their infrastructure in the Philippines.
Someone also urged fellow netizens to report the page to Lazada Philippines, noting the inclusion of the Lazada affiliate link in the screenshot posted by NoypiGeeks, because it is violating the rules followed by affiliate marketers.
Another page that was spotted and called out was the page called “China Telecom – Philippines,” which even used its page to promote a totally irrelevant advertise about car loans.
Facebook page also expressed awareness about netizens calling Facebook pages posting as pages of China Telecom as fake, but insisted that they only existed to inform people.
In a separate post, the same Facebook page clarified that it was not claiming to be an official Facebook page of China Telecom.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte wanted the Philippine government to ensure that China Telecom can start operating in the country by early 2018.
“The President has instructed DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) and National Telecommunications Commission to ensure that the 3rd telecom provider will be up and about by the first quarter of 2018,” Roque said during a Malacañang press briefing on December 19.
Roque added that relevant government agencies have been ordered to “approve all licenses and applications within 7 days only upon complete submission of requirements and if it is not approved by then, it is deemed approved.”
The President also said in the statement read by Roque that he does not want the Philippine courts to “interfere and prolong” the process of China Telecom setting up in the country.
“I do not want the courts to interfere and prolong this process. Do not issue any TROs or injunctions. This is a matter of national interest for the benefit of the public,” said Duterte in a statement.
Observing the law, China Telecom will only be able to hold 40% of the company, while the other 60% must be owned by a Filipino company.
Amid concerns raised about the country’s cybersecurity and the risk of corruption marring the deal for the third telco to enter the Philippines, Roque said that the agreement between the country and China Telecom is being rushed because the Filipinos “need desperately to have better telecoms in this country.”
Roque said that the DICT officer-in-charge Undersecretary Eliseo Mijares Rio assured him that the processes involving China Telecom’s entry to the Philippines will be carried out with “absolute transparency.”
Speaking to the ABS-CBN News Channel, Rio said that the third telco must have the “financial and technical clout to really compete” to avoid a repeat of what happened with San Miguel Corp. after it failed to find a foreign partner to support its bid to compete against Globe and Smart.
As for concerns about cybersecurity with the possible entry of China Telecom to the country, Rio pointed out how Globe and Smart have chosen Chinese tech firm Huawei as their partner in upgrading their networks.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg published a report about how China Telecom confirmed via email that it is carrying out a preliminary study on the possibility of investing in the Philippines, but has not come up with concrete plans as of yet.
Senator Panfilo Lacson commented on the possible entry of China Telecom to the country, calling it a “choice between duopoly and national security.”
“China Telecom: the heck of a choice between duopoly and national security. One is doom; the other, doomier,” Lacson tweeted.