Huawei had been blacklisted by the Trump administration.
The founder of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei wanted to be reassuring on Tuesday about the “survivalFrom the group targeted by US sanctions, but called on the Biden administration to “a policy of opennessAfter the blows of the Trump era.
“A policy that will be beneficial”
The telecoms juggernaut has been at the center of the Sino-American rivalry for several years, against the backdrop of a trade and technological war between the two leading world powers.
Huawei had found itself in the crosshairs of the former Trump administration, which accused it, without providing any evidence, of potential espionage for the benefit of Beijing. Consequence: in 2019 the United States placed the group on a blacklist in order to prevent it from acquiring technologies “made in USA“- yet essential to its products.
«We hope that the new administration will have [envers Huawei] a policy of openness that will be beneficialIn the United States, Ren Zhengfei, who founded the company in 1987, told reporters on Tuesday.
Pressure from Washington weighed on the Chinese giant last year. In 2020, Huawei saw its global sales of phones fall by 22%, while those of compatriot Xiaomi increased by 19%, according to the research firm Canalys.
Due to US sanctions, Huawei, among other things, no longer has access to updates to Android, Google’s operating system, which is ultra dominant on phones abroad.
A firm penalized by sanctions
The firm is also facing increasing pressure on the 5G front, a new standard of mobile technologies set to revolutionize the internet and whose deployment must accelerate.
The Trump administration hammered that Chinese intelligence could use Huawei equipment to monitor a country’s communications and data traffic. And in recent months, the United States has urged its allies to give up the Chinese telecoms group to equip their 5G network. On Tuesday, the founder of Huawei said he was confident in the future of his business.
Despite pressure from Washington, “Huawei’s survivability has increased“, Estimated the patriarch of 76 years, boasting – without providing figures – revenues and a net profit in increase in the year 2020.
And Mr. Ren to assure that Huawei could “increase production”, Despite American restrictions. However, “we still hope to be able to purchase large volumes of American materials, components and equipment», Admitted the founder of Huawei.
Even in China on its market, Huawei was heavily penalized by the sanctions: in the fourth quarter of 2020, sales collapsed by 44% over one year, weighed down by the supply difficulties in American technologies, according to Canalys.
This distrust of the company stems in part from Ren Zhengfei’s military past and his membership of the Chinese Communist Party, which fuel suspicions about the regime’s supposed influence on the group.
Huawei is today a global juggernaut, present in 170 countries with 194,000 employees. The group should survive the storm on condition of “rethink its economic model“And to operate”major changes», Estimates Canalys analyst Nicole Peng. Huawei is thus accelerating its diversification by positioning itself in cloud computing (“cloud»).
And to secure its supply of chips, essential for its phones, the group is trying to take stakes in companies related to semiconductors, according to the Japanese business daily Nikkei. Huawei was also forced in November to sell its entry-level smartphone brand, Honor.
And in recent weeks, rumors have even circulated about a sale by Huawei of the rest of its smartphone business. It is “out of the question”, Assured Tuesday the founder of the group.
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