China-based Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (SHE:002502), the world’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker, is denying reports of a pullout from the U.S. market.
Stores published by Reuters and the Financial Times, among other media outlets, reported that Eric Xu, the company’s executive vice president and one of its rotating CEOs, made remarks Tuesday that indicated Huawei was leaving the United States.
“We are no longer interested in the American market,” Sina Tech reported Xu as saying. “In terms of network carriers, Huawei will concentrate on developed countries, excluding the United States, in the future.”
Huawei, which sells equipment to global communications giants such as Vodafone, Bell Canada and Telekom Malaysia, is facing opposition from some leaders in Washington, according to CNET. U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns that the Chinese company’s gear could be used to snoop on American companies or individuals. Last fall, the House Intelligence Committee even issued an extensive report discouraging American companies from buying Huawei gear. As a result, Huawei has only been able to sell to smaller U.S. telecom companies.
Despite such hurdles, it is premature to conclude Huawei will scrap its plans for the American market, a Huawei publicist said.
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“Huawei did encounter a series of problems and difficulties in the U.S.,” the publicist said. “However, the U.S. has never been a major source of business for Huawei, and Huawei is not dependent on it. Without a doubt we will continue to do business in America, but Huawei’s main markets are in Asia and Europe.”
According to Huawei’s financial reports, in 2012 its sales totaled 35.04 billion yuan ($5.671 billion), a 33 percent increase from the previous year, and it had a profit increase of 9.1 percent. About 66 percent of its business came from outside China, but its American business accounted for a small percentage of that figure.