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  • Huawei is one of China's most successful global companies.

  • Its technology is used in more than 170 countries

  • and its smartphones rival Samsung and Apple for market share.

  • But some countries, including the United States, have expressed concerns that the Chinese government

  • could use Huawei's phones and equipment for spying.

  • That's on top of allegations like stealing trade secrets and bank fraud.

  • Now Huawei's future is under threat as it finds itself in the eye of a geopolitical storm.

  • Huawei, which can be translated to meansplendid actorChina is able,”

  • was founded in 1987, in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

  • Its founder and CEO is Ren Zhengfei, a former officer and engineer in the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

  • Back then, it was a scrappy upstart, selling telephone switches produced by another company in Hong Kong.

  • In the 1990s, it started doing its own research and toward the end of the millennium,

  • opened several research centers globally.

  • Following that research, Huawei became capable of developing its own products,

  • which were sometimes up to 25% cheaper than its competitors.

  • And it began to expand its reach worldwide.

  • Today, Huawei is probably best known for being one of the world's biggest smartphone makers,

  • alongside Samsung and Apple.

  • It's also the globe's largest provider of telecommunications equipment.

  • It has built more than 1,500 networks worldwide, connecting a third of the planet's population.

  • Huawei employs around 180,000 people and says its revenue for 2018 was about $107 billion.

  • But amid all its commercial success, the company has been dogged by allegations of breaking laws for profit.

  • Controversy has followed Huawei back as far as 2003 when Cisco systems sued the Chinese company

  • for infringing on numerous patents and illegally copying some software code.

  • However, the lawsuit was eventually dropped.

  • Then following an investigation in 2012, U.S. lawmakers warned telecom operators against

  • doing business with Huawei and its rival ZTE, citing long-term security risks associated

  • with the companies' equipment and services.

  • At the start of 2018, U.S. telecom conglomerate AT&T suddenly dropped a deal to sell Huawei's

  • new Mate 10 Pro after lawmakers once again expressed concerns

  • about Chinese companies in the U.S. telecoms industry.

  • ...China attempts to steal our private data.

  • A month later, six top U.S. intelligence chiefs warned American citizens

  • against using products and services by Huawei and ZTE, with the FBI saying:

  • Huawei says Beijing has no ownership stake or control over the company and that it would

  • never hand over data to the Chinese government, nor has it ever been asked to do so.

  • Still, experts have been skeptical about those assurances, pointing to Chinese laws that allegedly

  • mean that every domestic company is legally mandated to assist the country in intelligence gathering.

  • It's also thought they're forbidden from talking about any intelligence work.

  • Experts say these laws mean the company would have no choice

  • but to hand over data to the Chinese government if it asked for it.

  • Another point of contention for the U.S. government has been the alleged violation of American sanctions.

  • Huawei's rival ZTE nearly collapsed after being hit with a U.S. ban in April 2018,

  • for violating U.S. sanctions to Iran and North Korea.

  • That was only lifted after the company paid a $1 billion fine and allowed U.S. enforcement

  • officers unfettered access to monitor the company's actions.

  • Then in December, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's CFO

  • and daughter of its billionaire founder, was arrested in Canada.

  • That was done at the request of the U.S. government, which made a formal request for her extradition

  • over alleged violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

  • Just hours before Meng's arrest, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart XiJinping

  • had agreed to a 90-day pause in launching new tariffs in their ongoing trade war.

  • The timing of her arrest led to accusations in China that it was politically motivated,

  • and part of a larger witch hunt against Chinese companies.

  • Things escalated from there.

  • At the start of this year Congress introduced a bill that would, if passed, systematically

  • ban U.S. companies from selling technology to any Chinese firm

  • found to have violated export controls or sanctions.

  • A few weeks later, Huawei and several of its affiliates were hit with 23 charges from the U.S. government,

  • including bank fraud, stealing corporate secrets, obstructing justice and yes,

  • violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

  • The Chinese company relies on American chip providers like Intel and Qualcomm.

  • And while it's still eager to slash its dependence on them,

  • being cut off from those technologies would still be a major blow.

  • But it's 5G, the super fast network that's being designed to support the next generation of the internet,

  • that may play a decisive role in Chinese tech's future relationship,

  • not just with the U.S., but also the rest of the world.

  • That's because Huawei is among the top corporate 5G developers.

  • Huawei has poured more than a billion dollars into 5G research and patenting key technologies.

  • And it's paid off.

  • As of February 2019, Huawei held the most standard essential patents in 5G.

  • So why are patents so important?

  • Well, in the future, any sector with a reliance on connectivity, like transport or energy,

  • will need to pay 5G patent royalties.

  • That means a company with a lot of patents, like Huawei,

  • has significant control over the future development of the network.

  • Huawei has also contributed the most to the development of the 5G standard,

  • according to market intelligence platform IPlytics.

  • Huawei's place at the forefront of the technology poses problems for countries

  • that see the company as a threat to national security.

  • Australia, New Zealand and Japan have joined the U.S. in banning Huawei's 5G equipment

  • from entering their respective countries in a bid to defend against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks.

  • This has impacted companies using Huawei equipment to develop 5G Networks.

  • For example, Australian company TPG Telecom had to abandon its plans

  • of developing a 5G mobile network using Huawei-supplied equipment.

  • The Chinese government and media outlets claimed that the U.S.

  • was lashing out at Huawei to hurt the growing business.

  • And one of Huawei's top bosses has accused the U.S.

  • of having a “loser's attitudebecause it couldn't complete.

  • The company warns cutting it out of the race will slow 5G's roll out and increase costs,

  • but governments have pushed back, saying they can't put a price on the security of their nations.

  • As countries barrel toward 5G technology, expect Huawei to continue making headlines worldwide.

  • Hi guys, thanks for watching our video here from Mobile World Congress.

  • We'd love to hear your thoughts on Huawei, what do you think of their products, do you buy them?

  • Comment below the video to let us know and don't forget to follow the page.

Huawei is one of China's most successful global companies.

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Huaweiとは?| CNBCが解説 (What is Huawei? | CNBC Explains)

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    PENG に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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