The world’s biggest telecom equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Co was sued by Cisco Systems in 2003 for allegedly infringing on its patents. In the US, security officials have accused it of allowing unauthorized access by the Chinese People's Liberation Army through its equipment. US political opposition forced Huawei to withdraw its purchase of 3Leaf systems in 2010.
Huawei targets enterprise growth
Huawei Technologies, China's largest phone-equipment maker, forecast its enterprise business will accelerate growth, targeting US$10 billion in revenue by 2017 by winning contracts in cloud hosting and digital networks.
Global revenue from the division, which rose 32 per cent last year to about US$2.5 billion, will top that rate of increase in 2014, William Xu, who heads the unit, said at the CeBIT fair in Germany.
Huawei is seeking to challenge market leader Cisco Systems by introducing software-programmed switches it says would reduce operating cost and allow faster and cheaper upgrades. The Chinese company is putting more resources into developing smartphones and offering services to businesses as its growth in network equipment is curbed by a ban in the US.
"Our products are ready and leading in the industry," Xu said. "We forged a lot of alliances with our partners and we developed a lot of resale partners."
Huawei, based in Shenzhen, is betting it can gain a foothold in the enterprise market by partnering with companies such as Germany's SAP, whose Hana data-crunching engine will allow applications to run faster on its equipment, as well as with Alstom of France.
Huawei, which in 2011 hired John Suffolk, a former chief information officer for the British government, is also trying to focus on security and transparency in its procurement to convince customers concerned about cyber-attacks and government spying.
Xu would not say whether reports about the US National Security Agency's intelligence-gathering programmes are giving Huawei an edge over Cisco in some markets. "Others may accuse us, but all we can do is our share to prepare, to assure that our network is secure and reliable," he said.