After facing a congressional battering over security concerns, Huawei’s carrier networking group is no longer focused on the U.S. market, and instead expects to find ample business in other parts of the world.
“Apparently, due to whatever the geopolitical reasons, we are not focusing on the U.S. market,” said Li Sanqi, Huawei’s chief technology officer for the group, on Tuesday.
Last October, a U.S. congressional panel advised the nation’s telecom operators to steer clear of buying Huawei’s networking equipment for fears over the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. lawmakers’ claims against Huawei dealt a major blow to the company’s carrier networking group, which had spent years trying to cultivate business in the country’s telecom industry. U.S. officials worry that Huawei technology could be used by China to secretly conduct cyberespionage or hacking attacks.
Huawei has rejected the allegations and insists that its telecommunication equipment is safe to use. But for now, the company’s carrier networking group is dropping the U.S. from its priorities, despite the market’s size, Li said in a meeting with reporters. He estimated that the U.S. accounts for about 30 percent of the world’s carrier business.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to get into the U.S. market. Thirty percent, it’s a high-value market,” he said. But the carrier business in other parts of the world continues to grow, which he said was an encouraging sign for the company.
“We today face reality. We will focus on the rest of the world, which is reasonably big enough and is growing significantly,” he added.
One major market expected to help Huawei’s carrier networking group is China, which is preparing to launch new 4G networks. The country has over a billion mobile phone accounts, and the nation’s tech regulators are expected to issue commercial 4G licenses later this year.