Huawei says it raked in more than $US100 billion in 2018 thanks to booming consumer sales, despite global security concerns

Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu presents the new phone Huawei’s P10 during a press conference on February 26, 2017. Photo:LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
  • Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei raked in more than $US100 billion in 2018, despite crackdowns by US and other allies over security concerns about the company’s technology.
  • Huawei released its 2018 annual report on Friday, reporting sales revenue of $US107 billion (CNY721.2 billion), up 19.5% year-on-year.
  • The Shenzhen-based company now joins the ranks of other successful multinational tech giants like Apple and Google-parent company Alphabet.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei says it pulled in more than $US100 billion in sales in 2018, depsite crackdowns by US and other allies over the security of its technology.

Huawei released its 2018 annual report on Friday, reporting sales revenue of $US107 billion (CNY721.2 billion), up 19.5% year-on-year.

Huawei also noted that according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the Chinese giant filed 5,405 patent applications in 2018, more than any other corporation globally.

The Shenzhen-based company now joins the ranks of other succesful multinational tech giants like Apple and Google-parent company Alphabet, that have long ago soared past the $US100 billion benchmark.

“Through heavy, consistent investment in 5G innovation, alongside large-scale commercial deployment, Huawei is committed to building the world’s best network connections,” Guo Ping, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, said in the release of the company’s annual report.

The announcement comes amid increased tension between Huawei and the US, which has voiced concerns that Huawei’s technology – along with that of the Chinese telecom company ZTE – could pose a security risk.

The US banned the use of equipment or services explicitly from Huawei to any federal agencies or their contractors, fearing that the company’s technology could become a backdoor for the Chinese government to spy on the West.

Last month, Huawei fired back at the criticism and sued the US government, claiming it failed to produce evidence to back up concerns that the company poses a security threat and said that its law is unconstitutional.


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The EU is ignoring US calls to boycott Huawei in its 5G roll-out despite security concerns

Britain has also expressed concerns that Huawei technology could be used for espionage by the Chinese government. On Thursday, British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) published a scathing report detailing security concerns about Huawei as it seeks to roll out its next-generation 5G networks.

In the report, the agency said it found “further significant technical issues” in Huawei’s engineering processes as well as “concerning issues” with the company’s software.

Several other allies have also weighed in on Huawei concerns as they seek to expand their own 5G networks.

On Tuesday, the EU released guidelines to member states for the development of their ultra-fast networks in the coming years. It urged member states to assess cyber threats to their infrastructure, and that information should be shared with other EU countries in order to develop a set of “mitigating measures,” though it didn’t mention Huawei by name.

In recent months, Australia has banned Huawei and ZTE from supplying tech for their networks, citing major security risks.

New Zealand has also turned down a proposal for one of its major telecom carriers to use Huawei gear in its planned 5G mobile network, but the country has not ruled out using the tech giant in future internet network upgrades if security risks are addressed.

Huawei’s CEO pushed back on concerns about its 5G network on Friday, saying: “Cyber security and user privacy protection are at the absolute top of our agenda. We are confident that the companies that choose to work with Huawei will be the most competitive in the 5G era.”

“The easiest way to bring down a fortress is to attack it from within. And the easiest way to reinforce it is from outside.”

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