Who Are We? The question nobody now asks Huawei as it enjoys revenue growth of 30 per cent

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Jul 20, 2015

  • Huawei reports 30 per cent revenue growth, year-on-year
  • Company doing well across all 3 business groups
  • At this rate will soon become the planet's largest teleco equipment vendor

It seems only yesterday since a telecoms journalist friend of mine returned from an apparently sudden PR trip to a mystery company in China. “They’re called ‘Who Are We?’,” he joked, “hence the need for a PR blast.”

“Never heard of them,” we all replied.

Today everyone knows exactly who Huawei is  - surely the fastest-growing large telecoms vendor on the planet with a finger in all the big network equipment pies from smartphones (doing very nicely) through to network gear, Internet of Things, and 5G mobile.

It’s just announced its results and they are stellar. The private company certainly did well to grow fast in the early days, it now seems to be growing even faster despite barriers imposed by the US government.

In fact it vies for global leader honours with Ericsson, but with this growth rate passing Ericsson probably won’t take it long.

It has just announced an increase of 30 per cent, year-on-year against its first half 2015 revenues, which have shot up to 175.9 billion Yuan (US$28.3 billion).

"In the first half of 2015, Huawei achieved stable and healthy growth in all of its three business segments," the Huawei press release has its Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, saying.  "In the enterprise business, our innovative products and solutions have laid the foundation for building strong competitiveness and been widely recognized by customers, and we have started to experience accelerated growth. Thanks to the extensive application of our cloud computing, storage, agile network, and other flagship products and solutions in the smart city, finance, education, and ISP markets in and outside of China, our growth in the enterprise business began to pick up in the first half of this year."

Huawei claims it's been doing well in the consumer space too, pushing its brand into the midrange and high end bits of the smartphone market with the “Mate7 and P8 in particular”.  It’s also dipped its fingers into the cloud computing and NFV.

Huawei has famously had problems entering the US infrastructure market. As we’ve noted before, in 2008 the US government blocked the sale of the once dominant networking firm 3Com to Huawei on national security grounds, and as recently as 2013 the US only approved the takeover of Sprint by Japan’s Softbank on the alleged condition that it didn’t buy Huawei equipment.

This despite the fact that a 2012 report from the US House Intelligence Committee found no evidence of Chinese government ties to the company, but said that it and ZTE  “cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence” and directed that the two companies must be blocked from “acquisitions, takeover or mergers” in the US.

Ironically it turned out that the only evidence to emerge of government skulduggery came from the US side when the Snowden leaks fingered the US security services.

“The irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,”  the New York Times quoted William Plummer, a senior Huawei executive in the US at the time.

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