Ooredoo Facing Boycott in Myanmar
Published on: 6th Jun 2014
Qatar's Ooredoo is facing a boycott in Myanmar even before it has launched its new network in the country.
When Ooredoo was awarded one of the two available mobile network licenses, there were localised protests as the company is based in predominantly Islamic countries.
More radical Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar have been calling for boycots of Muslim owned businesses in the country, and now a cleric has called for the Ooredoo network to be added to the boycott when it launches its network.
"We want Buddhists to buy things only from shops owned by those of our religion and the profits should go to our religion," the cleric, who goes by the single name of Parmuakha said.
The mobile network is due to launch services later this year, and has pledged to slash the cost of phone services compared to what is offered by the state-owned mobile network.
The state-owned operator is still charging the equivalent of US$200 for a prepay SIM card, which puts phone services out of the reach of all but the richest consumers.
An Ooredoo spokesperson said that "any suspicion about our company will quickly dissipate once people start to see more of our brand and the positive effects that we will bring to the people of Myanmar."
The other network offered a license is Norway's Telenor.