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Huawei Responds to "Not Interested in U.S." Comments

Huawei will continue to sell in the United States, but the company doesn’t consider the U.S. to be a growth area or primary revenue source for its carrier business, according to a Huawei spokesperson.

Huawei executive VP Eric Hu was quoted yesterday in the Financial Times as saying, “We are not interested in the U.S. market any more.” I reached out to Huawei for more information about its plans going forward.

Huawei spokesperson Jannie Luong sent a reply via e-mail.

“The comment that was made reflects the realities of our carrier network business in the U.S. Considering the situation we currently face in the U.S., it would be very difficult for the U.S. market to become a primary revenue source or a key growth area for our carrier network business. Nevertheless, our U.S. employees remain committed to providing quality services for our customers.”

I also asked if the company planned any layoffs in the U.S. Luong replied, “There are no planned layoffs; like any other company, we will scale our operations according to the current market opportunities.”

When I followed up to ask if Huawei would continue to actively sell in the United States or move into more of a support-only mode for existing customers, a second spokesperson replied, “We continue to sell in the U.S. in all three business areas: Device, Carrier Network and Enterprise.”

While the company may still have a sales presence in the United States, it seems clear Huawei will not aggressively contest the U.S. market, at least for now. Bloomberg Businessweek reported a Huawei spokesperson saying that the company doesn’t see the United States as a primary revenue source for the “foreseeable future.”

That’s not a surprise to Mike Fratto, analyst at Current Analysis. “Huawei has a strong data center and campus LAN portfolio, but it’s clear that they would have an extremely difficult time making in-roads with U.S. companies due to security concerns—real or imagined—about the products and the company leadership,” he said.

According to an InformationWeek survey of 454 IT professionals, the U.S. government’s ban of Huawei equipment had a strong impact on whether American companies would do business with Huawei: 37% cited the ban as a major concern, and 34% called it a deal breaker. A report detailing full results of the survey will be available in May.

Comments provided by survey respondents are also revealing. While most cite trust issues, some feel the company is being unfairly tarnished. Said one respondent, “I think every company should have a fair chance to compete.”

Others acknowledge that while the U.S. government’s actions might just be scare tactics to thwart a foreign competitor, they still won’t take a chance. “I am aware that the security concern may just be fear mongering,” wrote one respondent, “but can I put the security of my network on the line for a 50% chance? Nope.”

I reached out to Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks for their reaction to Hu’s statement. All three companies had no comment. Drew is formerly editor of Network Computing and currently director of content and community for Interop. View Full Bio

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mmdccbslm
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mmdccbslm,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2013 | 6:01:22 PM
re: Huawei Responds to "Not Interested in U.S." Comments
the only obvious government was that they rejected heuweii's product. the others saw that as an obvious blanket indictment.
mmdccbslm
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mmdccbslm,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2013 | 5:59:42 PM
re: Huawei Responds to "Not Interested in U.S." Comments
the race to the bottom continues.... the problem appears to be that the wheels Heuweii would need to grease are already greased by others. quality has never been a concern in the USGov. more like politics and who pays to be your 'friend'. the profligate disregard for security could not be a concern for anyone using MS software, standard TCPIP or anything opensource. The spying intent of the chinese is unrelenting and unquestioned. They'll find a corrupt 'friend'. it's just a matter of time. there is too much about this that is very obvious and transparent, no matter how they try to frame the story or turn a phrase..
LD
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LD,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2013 | 3:28:37 PM
re: Huawei Responds to "Not Interested in U.S." Comments
Fears of espionage notwithstanding, the big issues with Huawei's equipment are in their code. So many security holes, open backdoors, and bugs. You don't have to be a security expert to see the problems here.
Honestly, I don't see why the US Govt. has to be involved - the market will dictate their success or failure on its own.
proberts551
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proberts551,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2013 | 12:52:01 PM
re: Huawei Responds to "Not Interested in U.S." Comments
Huawei - The United States for the Past 20 years has allowed itself to be subject to many kinds of Espionage. One form had started many years ago in the energy market from Outsourcing energy. This places other countries in a position of power once dependence is established. The same goes with financial, and now Information technology. The growing trend to outsource I.T. also places the United States at risk, depending on the information shared, or what may be vulnerable to our infrastructure, and our ability for not only to function in the market place, but also the whole banking and loan structure. Many places of security are now open for the hack.
Providing pre-configured back doors in the form of Networking Hardware is the Trojan horse of today. I wonder how many other Chinese electronics have bugs? I do not want Chinese built hardware anyway. strongly agree with others - Build the Network Gear in the United States, that is ...if we still have the ability?
Tim Wessels
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Tim Wessels,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2013 | 12:27:20 PM
re: Huawei Responds to "Not Interested in U.S." Comments
Well, Huawei's relationships with the Chinese government and the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) are anything but transparent. You can probably bet that if a company executive like Mr. Hu is making pronouncements like this they were either initiated by the Chinese Government or the PLA or they were approved by them prior to the announcement. This effectively means that Americans will have to look to Europe to get the wireless infrastructure gear that was formerly obtainable from Huawei. Better yet, why doesn't the U.S. government "mandate" that this wireless infrastructure gear be manufactured within the U.S. for "national security" reasons and get someone to do it. Not much different than having General Dynamics build atomic-powered submarines in Groton. If the technology is that important then it should be manufactured in the U.S.
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