Huawei unaffected by CFO arrest as exec calls governments to fight risks together

Chinese company is forecasting revenue to exceed $100 billion in 2018

A woman uses her phone as she walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, China, December 19, 2018.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter
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Chinese tech giant Huawei, which is facing increasing global pressure over allegations that its equipment is unsecure and facilitates espionage, is unaffected by the detention of its chief financial official, the company’s top executive said.

Huawei also announced plans to invest $2 billion in the next 5 years to address security concerns through improved engineering capabilities and also called other nations to work together to mitigate security risks.

Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu said that “business operations were not being impacted by this event (detention).” Executive travel plans were not affected, and Huawei remains confident about its trade compliance system, said Mr Ken at a press conference at the company's new campus in Dongguan.

Ms Meng Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canada at the request of the US for allegedly conspiring to defraud American banks and violating sanctions related to doing business in Iran. She is currently out on bail and has to stay in Vancouver, awaiting a possible extradition to the US, where if convicted, she faces 30 years in jail.

Despite facing a ban from various countries on the import of 5G gears, Huawei said it ranked number one among all Information and Communications Technology equipment providers, “having already shipped more than 10,000 base stations to markets around the world.”


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5G is expected to support significantly faster mobile broadband speeds and heavier data use than previous generations while enabling the full potential of the Internet of Things.

Mr Ken said that Huawei has secured 25 5G commercial contracts so far and the company will remain the market leader for at least next 12 to 18 months.

UK telecoms firm BT is the latest firm barring Huawei 5G equipment from its core network. Australia and New Zealand also announced this year that they would not allow Huawei to be involved in building the next generation 5G systems in their countries.

“Some security concerns based on the technology for 5G were very legitimate… but able to be clarified or mitigated through collaboration with operators and governments,” stated Mr Ken.

“We will continue to increase our investment on security and security related technologies."

Local Japanese media has also reported that the country’s top three carriers — NTT Docomo, SoftBank Group and KDDI — will ban telecommunications equipment by Huawei. US media reports have suggested Washington is urging its allies to avoid Chinese technology networks amid fears they could be used for spying.

Huawei, which surpassed Apple as the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer this year, is forecast to exceed the $100 billion revenue mark in 2018, said Mr Ken, while admitting that the company still faces ‘challenges’. Huawei is expected to ship nearly 200 million units of smartphones globally by the end of this year.