Tue, Dec 18, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Huawei defiant despite chief financial officer’s arrest

Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is pictured in an undated photo.

Photo: Reuters

Hot on the heels of Washington opening a legal investigation into Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies on Dec. 1, the company’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada, once again throwing the spotlight back onto Huawei. The US has repeatedly thrown obstacles in the path of China’s 5G telecoms juggernaut, so much so that, to all intents and purposes, Huawei has already exited the US market.

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Justice had initiated a criminal investigation to ascertain whether Huawei had violated the conditions of US trade sanctions against Iran. Following the news of Meng’s arrest, all eyes are now on Huawei to find out if it will suffer a similar fate to that of ZTE Corp, which was sanctioned by the US authorities earlier this year.

In April, ZTE was handed a seven-year ban on the purchase of US chips and components by US authorities for violating the trade embargo on Iran. The move plunged management at China’s second-largest producer of telecommunications equipment into a state of shock. ZTE was also fined a total of US$1.7 billion.

However, in contrast to ZTE, Huawei will not be such an easy nut to crack for the US authorities. The Chinese company is the global market leader in telecommunications equipment and the second-largest seller of mobile phones. Huawei is widely viewed as having stolen a march on its competitors in regards to development of 5G telecommunications technology.

On April 25, US news broadcaster CNN’s sister Web site CNN Money cited a report by the US Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) that stated China is the most prepared of any nation to launch next generation super high-speed wireless technology. Additionally, the US comes in behind South Korea as the third-best prepared country. The report says that, “China holds a narrow lead in the race to 5G thanks to a combination of industry momentum and government support.” The report also says that Beijing plans to deploy 5G on a commercial scale by 2020.


1. sanction v.


(zhi4 cai2)

2. easy nut to crack phr.


(sheng3 you2 de5 deng1)

3. global market leader phr.


(quan2 qiu2 shi4 zhan4 lu4 di4 yi1)

4. steal a march on phr.


(yi2 lu4 ling3 xian1)

5. next generation phr.


(xia4 yi2 dai4)

Following the announcement of an investigation into the company by the US Department of Justice, Huawei set into motion plans to exit the US market. In October, Huawei’s deputy chairman Eric Xu said: “China’s market is large enough; many of the world’s top 500 companies are not operating in the US and they are doing just fine.” Xu added, “Huawei considers the US to be a minor market.”

The Wall Street Journal last month reported that the US government had launched a campaign to persuade allied nations to avoid using Huawei’s telecommunications equipment for their wireless communications and Internet networks. New Zealand and Australia, citing national security concerns, have both blocked domestic telecoms companies from using Huawei equipment in their 5G mobile networks.

Despite difficulties in penetrating the US market, Huawei last month announced it has already won 22 commercial contracts around the globe for 5G mobile. At present there are 150 companies around the world carrying out testing of 5G, of which 50 are working in partnership with Huawei. Meanwhile, Huawei has already shipped 10,000 5G base units to Europe, the Middle East and other areas of the globe.

On Dec. 1, US President Donald Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed a temporary 90-day reprieve to an escalation of the trade war, yet just hours later on the same day Meng was arrested in Canada.

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