Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment vendor, said more than half of the contracts it has signed so far to supply next-generation 5G gear are with European operators.
Huawei has secured 50 5G commercial contracts globally, of which 28 were signed in Europe, Chen Lifang, president of the telecoms giants public affairs and communications department, said in Brussels on Thursday.
The Shenzhen-based company, which leads in global 5G equipment sales, did not disclose the names of its partners. Huawei’s major competitors in network development, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson, had secured 43 contracts and 22 contracts as of the end June, respectively. Huawei’s crosstown rival, ZTE, has publicly announced 25 commercial deals.
Huawei earned 204.5 billion yuan (US$29.8 billion) from Europe, the Middle East and Africa – its biggest overseas market region – in 2018, according to its annual report. That accounted for about 28.4 per cent of its total revenue and more than the combined contribution from the Americas and Asia-Pacific, excluding China regions.
Europe, which has generally resisted pressure from the US to shut out Huawei, is an important market that the company could not afford to lose after a series of bans in North America and Oceania.
“Huawei is following closely the 5G framework of the EU, and fully supports this framework,” Chen said at the Brussels round table on Thursday, according to the transcript on Huawei EU’s official Twitter account.
Huawei does not have a risk management or cybersecurity mechanism with the Chinese government, but only with governments in Germany, Britain and Canada, she added, according to the Twitter post.
In Britain, Huawei is helping develop 5G networks for all four of the country’s major mobile phone operators, even though the government has yet to confirm whether the Chinese technology company will be permitted to build 5G wireless infrastructure, according to a report by The Guardian earlier this month.
Following the establishment of the British lab, Huawei in March opened its second European cybersecurity lab in Brussels, as the company tries to assuage concerns of local governments and fight back at US allegations that its equipment poses a national security risk.
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