US’ 4th extension shows Huawei’s strength: industry insiders

US’ 4th extension shows Huawei’s strength: insiders


A Huawei store in Madrid, Spain Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

A series of extensions allowing US companies to continue doing business with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei shows that the US market can neither decouple the company nor defeat it, industry insiders said. 

The US Department of Commerce announced on Thursday that it was issuing a 45-day extension, delaying a ban on some US companies selling goods to Huawei. The move came together with new charges against Huawei, with the US accusing it of stealing technology from six other companies on Thursday.

The fourth extension shows the contradictory attitude of US politicians, Fu Liang, a Beijing-based industry expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The US can't circumvent Huawei given its leading position in the global telecommunications sector. On the other hand, US politicians are leveraging this to contain China's technological development," Fu said.

If the US continues to restrict its companies from doing business with Huawei in the long run, the US will bear the brunt of the damage as it has forced Huawei to accelerate its technological self-reliance or seek alternative suppliers from other countries, Fu said.

Due to the price advantage of Huawei's products, the company's presence in the US is largely in rural areas. 

The latest extension came after Germany's ruling parties and the French finance minister this week said Huawei would be allowed to help build local 5G infrastructure. 

Responding to the latest US charges, Huawei told the Global Times on Friday that this new indictment is "part of the US Justice Department's attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei's reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Friday urged the US to immediately cease its unreasonable oppression of Chinese firms. This "economic bullying" denies market economy principles and will harm the interests of US firms, Geng said. 

The charges came as the Trump administration considers harsher restrictions on the sale of US goods to Huawei, according to media reports. 

Amid the virus outbreak in China, Huawei's smartphone sales and short-term production may sustain a blow, but will quickly rebound, according to Ma Jihua, a veteran industry analyst. 

He noted if the epidemic can be controlled effectively by March, Huawei can sustain shipments of smartphones with one-month stock and there won't be a great impact to its annual performance. 

In addition, the shipments of Huawei's 5G base stations equipment may plunge in the first half year, but telecoms operators will not reduce the overall annual demand, Ma said.

A Huawei staff at a research and development laboratory told the Global Times he has returned to work and felt no impact so far. 

Ma added that the company's cloud and online office businesses have surged due to the virus onslaught.