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Huawei downplays impact of report that Trump plans to bar company’s access to U.S.

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Huawei downplays impact of report that Trump plans to bar company's access to U.S.

A Huawei executive said Wednesday that possible new U.S. restrictions on market access will have little impact on the Chinese tech giant due to its global reach.

David Wang was responding to reports that President Donald Trump plans to bar phone carriers from using technology vendors that are deemed security risks. Huawei has spent a decade fighting U.S. accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.

Wang said he hadn’t heard that news but he expressed confidence it would have little impact on Huawei, the biggest global maker of switching equipment for phone and internet companies.

“Due to our global operations, any change in one country has little impact on our global business,” said Wang, also a member of Huawei’s board of directors.

Spying fears

Huawei’s U.S. market evaporated after a congressional panel labeled the company a security risk in 2012. The company says that had little effect on business in Europe and emerging markets, where it reports strong growth.

Wang spoke Wednesday at an event to unveil Huawei’s first standalone software product, a database management system called GaussDB, in an effort to break into a market dominated by Western suppliers such as Oracle and SAP.

The company, China’s first global tech brand, has steadily expanded into new industry segments despite pressure from Washington and other governments that say Huawei is a security risk.

“Some experts and governments have misrepresented the technological problems of cybersecurity as political problems,” said Wang. “It does not help to build a truly security networked world.”

The company has pushed ahead with initiatives despite the Dec. 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer, in Canada on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

In January, Huawei unveiled the Kunpeng 920 chip for servers to support smartphones, streaming video and other services. It developed the Kirin line of chips for smartphones and Ascend chips for artificial intelligence.

Huawei’s smartphone brand, launched in 2010, passed Apple last year to become the global No. 2 seller behind Samsung.

The company founded in 1987 by a former military engineer is a national champion at the head of an industry the ruling Communist Party is eager to promote.

Huawei filed a lawsuit in March asking U.S. federal court to throw out a section of this year’s American military appropriations bill that bars the government or its contractors from using Huawei equipment.

Australia, Japan and Taiwan have imposed curbs on use of Huawei technology. But Germany, France and other governments are balking at U.S. demands to exclude it from next-generation communications networks.

Huawei reported earlier global sales rose 19.5 per cent last year over 2017 to the equivalent of $105.2 billion US. Profit rose 25.1 per cent to $8.6 billion.

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