Huawei lands more than 25 contracts for 5G, forecasts revenue to exceed US$100 billion

  • Shenzhen-based Huawei’s pipeline of commercial 5G contracts has resulted in its shipment of more than 10,000 base stations for the next-generation mobile technology
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 6:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 10:53pm

Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier, said it has secured more than 25 commercial contracts for 5G and gave an upbeat forecast of surpassing US$100 billion in revenue this year, despite the swirling legal drama surrounding its chief financial officer who was arrested in Canada and is currently out on bail.

Shenzhen-based Huawei currently has the most number of 5G equipment deals in place, up from the 22 it announced in November, that has resulted in its shipment of more than 10,000 base stations for the next-generation mobile technology, rotating chairman Ken Hu Houkun said in a press conference at the company’s manufacturing campus in Dongguan on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.

That pipeline of commercial 5G contracts has not only put Huawei ahead of rival mobile network equipment suppliers Ericsson and Nokia, but the Chinese company also expected to raise its revenue to more than US$100 billion this year, compared with US$92 billion last year.

Hu also announced plans to bolsters Huawei’s cybersecurity efforts with an initial US$2 billion investment, while emphasising the company’s “clean” record in terms of security and a renewed commitment to step up engagement with world governments, according to a Bloomberg report.

Huawei CFO’s arrest poses a threat to China’s global 5G mobile ambitions

The company is confident about its compliance with global trade and that it has never received any government requests to damage networks of customers in other countries, Hu said.

He reiterated Huawei’s position that the recent arrest and detention of CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou in Canada had no impact on the company’s business, and that it was confident in the fairness of the country’s judiciary.

Meng was freed on C$10 million bail last week pending the outcome of a hearing on her possible extradition to the United States. Meng was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver, at the request of the US government, on suspicion that she took part in bank fraud to help the company evade US and EU sanctions against Iran.

Huawei did not immediately respond to an email query for comments.

The announcements made by Hu showed that Huawei was upbeat about its business prospects, following previous speculation that it could be targeted with a ban on purchasing US hi-tech software and hardware.

US President Donald Trump said last week he would intervene in the case against Meng if that would help pave the way for a trade deal with China.

“Since Huawei is such a big target for the US, it is possible that China may offer to have Huawei subject to the same US compliance monitoring as ZTE, as a way to prove that China is willing to be more transparent,” Jefferies equity analyst Edison Lee said in a report. “We still believe that tech subsidies and the ‘Buy China’ policy will be challenged by the US, but how much China would be willing to give up remains difficult to assess.”

Huawei on track for record smartphone shipments in 2018, defying outlook worries amid CFO arrest

Hu’s press conference in Shenzhen followed Monday’s announcement made by He Gang, the president of Huawei’s smartphone division, that the company was on track to ship 200 million smartphones by December 25.

The saga over the arrest of Meng saga sparked a jump in Huawei’s domestic smartphone sales, as mainland Chinese consumers and several Chinese companies stepped up to voice support for local brands, citing the unfair treatment of Huawei and its CFO by the West.

Privately held Huawei, which has operations in about 170 countries and territories, is facing an outright ban on the sale and deployment of its 5G network equipment in several countries, including Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand, because of security concerns. That same issue affects Hong Kong-listed ZTE Corp, which is China’s second-largest telecoms equipment manufacturer.

The United Kingdom and Canada are currently weighing their respective positions on the potential security risks posed by Huawei gear.