Huawei to report strong revenue growth despite ‘unfair treatment’

Chinese telecoms company Huawei said that it expected to report a 21 per cent increase in revenues to $109bn for 2018, despite what it called “malicious incidents” and “incredibly unfair treatment” from foreign governments.

In a new year’s message to employees, Guo Ping, Huawei’s rotating chairman, said the telecoms equipment manufacturer had secured 26 5G contracts worldwide this year, even after authorities in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan raised security concerns about the supplier.

Earlier this month, Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou — who is also the daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei — was arrested in Vancouver on allegations that Huawei sold US-made equipment to Iran. Ms Meng is facing extradition to the US.

“We must not be discouraged by malicious incidents or temporary setbacks, and must remain determined to achieve global leadership,” Mr Guo wrote in his message to employees.

Huawei has struck a defiant tone since Ms Meng’s arrest. Last week, Ken Hu, the company’s chief executive, attacked the US and its allies for spreading fear about its telecoms equipment out of “ideological or geopolitical concerns”. He said countries that banned Huawei from their telecoms infrastructure would put themselves at a severe disadvantage as the world moves to 5G, the next generation of mobile internet.

Mr Guo wrote that Huawei’s “uncertain” business environment was due to “the dynamic between world powers [becoming] more intense”.

“For 5G markets that choose to not work with Huawei — they will be like an NBA game without star players,” he added.

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Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump is considering an executive order that would stop US companies from using telecoms equipment made by Huawei and rival ZTE, Prosyscom Tech News reported on Thursday. The executive order could be issued as early as next month, it said.

Separately, Gavin Williamson, the UK defence secretary, spoke this week of his “grave” and “very deep” concerns over Huawei supplying the country’s telecoms infrastructure. “I have grave, very deep concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain. It’s something we’d have to look at very closely,” Mr Williamson told journalists.

“We’ve got to look at what partners such as Australia and the US are doing . . . and we’ve got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way,” he added.

Last week, the UK and the US governments accused China of supporting a worldwide campaign of cyber attacks aimed at stealing trade secrets from governments and high-tech companies. The US justice department charged two Chinese nationals, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, with conducting the attacks on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the country’s main intelligence service.

Additional reporting by Henry Mance in London

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