Huawei Dominates MWC Mobile Tech Fair Despite U.S. Sanctions

Huawei Dominates MWC Mobile Tech Fair Despite U.S. Sanctions

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A group of Chinese companies, led by tech giant Huawei, are turning the world's biggest wireless trade show into an opportunity to show their strength against Western countries that have increasingly blacklisted Huawei as a cybersecurity threat. Stress: United States of America in Tik Tok time, bubbles and computer chips lined up.

The outbreak comes three years after tens of thousands gathered in Barcelona at the MWC, also known as Mobile World Congress, the tech industry's annual trade show that starts Monday, where cellphone makers unveil new devices and meet telecom executives. The latest network hardware and software.

Among the 2000 exhibitors and sponsors are 150 Chinese companies and Huawei Technologies Limited. He has a great presence. The smartphone and networking equipment maker has expanded its footprint by almost 50% year-on-year, organizers said at the massive exhibition at Barcelona's Fira Convention Center.

This is surprising given that Huawei is at the center of a geopolitical battle for global technological supremacy, with Western sanctions partially crippling its business.

Three years ago, the United States barred European allies such as the United Kingdom and Sweden from using or using Huawei equipment on phone networks over concerns that Beijing could use it for cyber espionage or fraud, critical communications infrastructure; I understand Huawei. Rejected many times. Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have taken similar measures.

Brian Chamberlain, general counsel of Huawei's mobile operator group, said: "The sanctions have had a significant impact, but the company will not try to break any of these laws."

"But at the same time, this does not stop us from offering innovative and new solutions," he said at the exhibition. "We will continue to work with companies and countries that seek our support."

According to John Strand, a Danish telecommunications consultant, Huawei's heavy participation in the program is a sign of defiance.

He said he wants to give the finger to US President Donald Trump's Huawei. According to him, the company's message is: Despite US sanctions, we are alive and well.

Technology tensions between the US and China have escalated.

A Chinese spy balloon allegedly shot down by a US warplane has raised tensions between Beijing and Washington in recent weeks.

US authorities have banned TikTok from devices issued to government employees over fears the popular Chinese video-sharing app could threaten data privacy or promote pro-China narratives.

The United States has signed agreements with key allies Japan and the Netherlands to limit access to China's advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

This followed MWC four years ago, becoming the battleground between the US and China over Huawei and the security of next-generation wireless networks. In an opening speech by a senior Huawei executive, his allies criticized the United States for forcing it to ban the company's equipment.

Huawei didn't go away and the controversy continues. Last month, Washington expanded the sanctions with new restrictions on Huawei's exports of low-tech components.

Still, the company has maintained its position as the world's No. 1 maker of networking equipment in China and other markets, unable to lobby the Washington government to ban the company.

Strand, who has taught at MWC for 26 years, said Huawei wants to show the world that it is becoming more ubiquitous than just making network equipment, hidden pipelines like base stations and antennas that connect mobile devices around the world. Technology provider. . .

The company is reinventing itself by providing hardware and software to ports, self-driving cars, factories and other industries that it thinks will be less vulnerable to Washington.

"Because MWC is a global event, they (Huawei) want to communicate this and show that they are still a major player in the telecom and high-tech industry," said Forrester Research principal analyst Thomas Husson.

Huawei's Chamberlain says the company's presence is so strong only because of "unmet demand."

"For the past three years, we have been closed in China due to Covid-related restrictions, so this is the first time we have been able to meet with our customers."

Huawei also makes smartphones, but sales outside China have declined after Google was banned from offering Maps, YouTube and other services often installed on Android devices.

"Huawei's consumer brand has failed in Europe," Hassan said. At MWC, "Huawei may introduce consumer smartphones and new consumer devices, but the brand has lost momentum and these announcements are mostly focused on high-growth markets outside the US and Western Europe."

At the Huawei booth, employees showed the audience the latest 5G antennas, as well as equipment from older-generation mobile networks that still make up the company's largest share. Optical network switches and the new flexible fiber optic cable for home networks are displayed in the VIP area, while smartphones and other consumer devices such as headsets are placed near the entrance.

Huawei is part of a large Chinese delegation, as China lifts all travel restrictions for Covid-19. ZTE, another Chinese tech company hit by US sanctions, plans to showcase its products at MWC.

According to Ben Wood, chief analyst of CCS Insight, Chinese mobile phone companies Honor, Oppo and Xiaomi will have a strong presence. Honor was previously Huawei's budget brand, but was sold in 2020 after freeing its sales from its parent company.

"The lifting of COVID restrictions in China has allowed these manufacturers to participate in the fair," Wood said. "They all want to establish themselves as a 'third alternative' to Apple and Samsung in the European markets and see MWC as an important event for this."

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