Huawei, ZTE win China Mobile contract for converged 5G and 4G network, leaving out foreign suppliers
- Huawei and ZTE will each build half the US$1 billion converged 5G and 4G network of the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers
- The deal signals yet another vote of confidence for US sanctions-hit Huawei and limited headway in China for foreign telecoms gear makers
The two Shenzhen-based companies will each contribute an unknown portion of the network in a contract for equipment and services worth about 7.5 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) in 31 provinces around the country, according to the bid results released by China Mobile in late September.
In that deal, ZTE took 30 per cent of the contracts, leaving the China operations of Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia small slivers of the network. Out of the three offers available, Ericsson China was awarded just 9.4 per cent of one while Nokia Shanghai Bell, a joint venture, secured about 10 per cent of another.
Chinese engineers from Huawei, China Mobile build world’s highest 5G base station on Mount Everest
Huawei’s efforts to assuage concerns that its overseas operations might be subject to Chinese data and security laws have had little success. But at home, the telecoms industry continues to rally around Huawei. Its network equipment remains popular there even as its smartphone business has languished under sanctions that have kept it from acquiring advanced semiconductors produced using US-origin technologies.
In August, Huawei reported its worst interim revenue decline in decades, with the revenue falling to 320 billion yuan in the first half of the year, a 29.4 per cent decline from the same period in 2020. The company’s mainstay network gear business declined to 136.9 billion yuan, down 14.2 per cent from a year earlier.