China’s Huawei says US not ‘key’ market

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11:59 AM April 25th, 2013

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April 25th, 2013 11:59 AM

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SHANGHAI—Chinese telecoms giant Huawei says it would no longer focus on the US market for its core business, months after Washington effectively closed the door on it by labelling it a security threat.

The US Congress last year warned telecom equipment supplied by Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE, could be used for spying and called for their exclusion from government contracts and acquisitions.

Huawei has denied those claims and accused the US government of protectionism, while seeking to improve transparency by releasing annual reports despite not being a listed company, but to no effect.

“Considering the situation our company currently faces in the US, it would be very difficult for the US market to become a primary revenue source or a key growth area for our carrier network business in the foreseeable future,” Huawei said in a statement.

The carrier network sector, in which it provides telecom companies with equipment and services to run their telecoms operations, is Huawei’s main business.

A news report quoted Huawei’s executive vice-president Eric Xu as telling analysts in a meeting at its headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Tuesday that the firm had shifted away from the US over the past year.

“We are not interested in the US market any more,” he was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.

A Huawei spokesman could not confirm the report.

But the statement, provided to AFP late Wednesday, said Xu’s comment applied to its carrier network business, which derived growth mainly from developed markets outside the United States.

“In spite of this challenge, our US employees remain committed to providing quality services for our customers,” it said.

Another Huawei executive said this month that the company still hoped to solve the “problems” it has in the United States.

“I believe one day we could potentially solve the challenges and problems in the US,” said chief executive officer Guo Ping.

Huawei, which was founded by former Chinese army engineer Ren Zhengfei, was also barred from tendering for Australia’s national broadband network last year on security grounds.

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