Huawei: Rumors of spying are "groundless speculation"; company shipped 153 million phones in 2017

Huawei CEO Richard Yu has said that the company's goal is to leap frog over Apple and Samsung to become the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. To help it achieve that goal, the company hoped to partner with the two largest U.S. wireless operators. Verizon and AT&T were prepared to add the Huawei Mate 10 Pro to their lineups earlier this year, but those deals fell through after the U.S. government became vocal about Huawei's close ties to the Chinese government. Last month, U.S. lawmakers warned Americans not to buy or use Huawei products. In the back of their minds was a report from 2012 that claimed Huawei and ZTE use their phones and networking equipment to spy on U.S. corporations and consumers.

Not only did Verizon and AT&T decide not to carry the Mate 10 Pro, Best Buy recently announced that once it is out of Mate 10 Pro inventory, it doesn't plan on ordering any more Huawei branded products. Actually, while Huawei is getting hit in the pocketbook, U.S. consumers are missing out on the opportunity to buy the just unveiled Huawei P20 Pro with its high-end specs and a triple camera setup in back.

Calling the U.S. governments' talk of spying "groundless speculation," Yu says that Huawei is not giving up on the U.S. "We recognize we are not a known brand in the U.S., and we need to build our brand here," Yu said. "Our first step is to win the trust of consumers." Figuring out how to do that, however, is going to be difficult.


Yu thinks that even if Huawei remains shut out of the U.S. market, it can still overtake Samsung and Apple. Today, Huawei announced that for all of 2017 it shipped 153 million phones (including sub-brand honor) as handset revenue rose 32% Samsung shipped 317.1 million units last year, while Apple shipped 215.8 million according to IDC.

source: Huawei, CNET

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46 Comments

37. x88yunkw

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Guys, please make it clear. Huawei said they wanted to become largest smartphones manufacturer in the world. It means they fight for number of smartphones manged to be sold in a year, it didnt means that how much margin or revenue they gained. Of course everyone know apple earned the highest margin per unit of iphone.

43. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Actually Huawei makes roughly the same amount of profit per phone (roughly 40%). Also out of Apples $20 billion last quarter only around $6 billion was from phone sales, over $8 billion was from services and the rest was from other products.

36. Krieger

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 01, 2018

This is hilarious.. Just say you don't like the fact that Huawei are gonna muscle in on the income from your Korean chums and make a lot more cash for the Chinese economy. Not what you want when you consider them an enemy and challenger to the current hegemony. As for this spying nonsense..? People seem to have forgotten Snowden and the fact that the NSA are doing plenty good spying on their own citizens without having to manufacture a thing. So transparent. Follow the money.. Always.

27. dimas

Posts: 3468; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

You know what's annoying with huawei? They released p20 and p20 pro at an expensive price but no microsd slot for storage expansion. Don't play the stupid, no expansion apple game, huawei. You're p20 pro is an expensive android, you're supposed to give people all the flexibility they expect from an android device.

14. Sparkxster

Posts: 1275; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Hope Huawei can come up with a solution to getting their phones on carriers and to build their brand in the US. They always come up with interesting designs for their phones and I would love to switch to a Huawei device.

6. newbey123

Posts: 707; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

lmao, china spying on us is the least of the United States worries, though I highly doubt these allegations hold any water.

13. therealestmc

Posts: 680; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Both countries spy on each other but why should we make it easy for China to do so?

5. gamehead unregistered

I dont always trust the government, but chinese spying is believable

16. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

The problem with the entire spy accusation things, is that it is so easy to prove, be it right or wrong. Any security research center in the USA can check up a sample of smartphone imported from China, regardless of the brand, and see for themselves whether they have spying chip(s) or not. What the US government is currently just paying the public fear card!

4. rsiders

Posts: 2085; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Great so maybe the US government can let these guys compete here. Their new offerings are where it's at right now.

12. therealestmc

Posts: 680; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Perhaps China can let the US companies compete in China without manipulating their currency and making US companies jumping through hoops the Chinese companies don't have to. I don't like the president and his administration but I agree with the decision to stifle Chinese companies in the US market until they start playing fair with our companies.

17. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Are you joking, do you know what the government there give to Foxconn to build it's giant iPhone factory in Zhengzhou. Built and partly financed the construction of a huge manufacturing complex at a cost of $600 million. Spent around $1 billion to build housing that could accommodate hundreds of thousands of workers. Provides a discount that reduces the cost of power by 5 percent annually. Built infrastructure, including power generators and a 24-kilometer pipeline Eliminated corporate taxes and value added taxes for five years, then halved the usual rate for the next five years. Granted a $250 million loan from the municipal treasury. Helps recruit and train workers, as well as paying subsidies for new hires. Lowered the amount of social insurance and other payments by up to $100 million a year. Offers bonuses tied to the growth of exports. Pays out a subsidy to help defray the cost of shipping goods. And thats just part of it. All that to build a phone for an American owned company, but according to you the Chinese don't play fair with US business.

23. Subie

Posts: 2476; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Actually if anything you just helped prove therelestmc's point. Words in your first line "give to Foxconn". Foxconn is a Chinese company mate. That means that the Government gave Foxconn money to help Foxconn compete against all others. If you wanted to compare apples to apples to prove your point then you would've had to show by example: China helping an American manufacturing company start up a plant in China to compete AGAINST Foxcomm...

25. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

Foxconn is a Taiwanese brand. Taiwan is an important ally of the US. Taiwan and China are adversaries far worst than the US and China.

29. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"If you wanted to compare apples to apples to prove your point then you would've had to show by example: China helping an American manufacturing company start up a plant in China to compete AGAINST Foxcomm..." As Jacky899 has stated Foxconn is a Taiwanese company not Chinese. Why would American companys want to build plants in China when it's far cheaper to pay Foxconn to manfacture for them. The plants, infrastructure and supply routes are already in place. They don't just manufacture for Apple either it's US customers include, Apple Amazon Cisco Dell Google Hewlett Packard InFocus Intel Microsoft Vizio All these US companys gain from the benefits Foxconn receives.

35. Subie

Posts: 2476; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Yes, you and Jacky are right about Foxconn being Taiwanese. From that perspective I see your point better. Though China may disagree about Taiwan being its own sovereign nation. Those tech companies you listed though are paying customers of Foxconn, and not competitors. How does China help those companies compete in China against other Tech companies like Lenovo for instance? Remember, Apple was a paying customer of Foxconn long before they were allowed to sell their phones in China. And Apple did have to make concessions before the latter was allowed to happen...

38. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Apple still has to make concessions now, every phone they release in China has to go through a security audit, thats why iPhones tend to release a few weeks later over there, and they must store the data on Chinese soil,but at least they are still welcomed to sell thier products in China, no such courtesy has been given to Huawei in the US.

40. Subie

Posts: 2476; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I can't argue with your point here. Have you ever used the Chinese app WeChat? You could if you wanted to. Now try and use apps like Viber, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Google services in China. All foreign companies who's products are blocked from use or restricted in the Chinese market in the name of national security. As a foreigner try buying Land in China. Now as a foreigner try buying land in the US. The difference is that one of these countries outright prohibits this. Guess which one... So while it does seem like the US is being unreasonable China is still a far more restrictive nation, and that goes far beyond tech.

39. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

If the US would allow Huawei or any other large Chinese companies make a few concessions inorder to sell in the US, the Chinese companies would be dancing in joy. In comparison China has been much more receptive to US companies and foreign companies in general, which is beneficial for a capitalistic global economy. If China retaliates by adopting this protectionistic behavior of the US, it will be bad for the US and the rest of the world. It would be really easy for China to ban all US products from being sold in China because of national security reasons since it has been PROVEN time after time that NSA backdoors are embedded in US electronic products and US have been caught spying on countries all over the world. Even the Snowden leaks alone can prove this. On the other hand there is zero evidence to date of Huawei spying and their products have been used by hundreds of millions of people in Europe and Asia

41. Subie

Posts: 2476; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Read post 40. ZTE currently sells phones in the US, so there is one phone manufacturer. Please don't pretend as if Chinese companies are all blocked from selling their products here. Just a quick look on Walmart or Amazon and you'll see many Chinese products(not just made in China) but from Chinese companies selling their products All over North America. "US have been caught spying on countries all over the world" I agree with this statement. But newsflash - all Nations have been caught spying on other nations around the Globe using modern tech...

45. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

ZTE faced the same resistance as Huawei with the US government saying it "cannot be trusted" and "threat to national security". ZTE's telecommunications network equipment is largely shut out of the US market but their low price budget phones are selling here. ZTE operate in the US under huge restrictions and there is a proposed bill this year titled "Defending US Government Communications Act", which ZTE is targeted. However, I was talking about premium/profitable Chinese brands selling in the US on the caliber of Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple, etc., not the cheap bargain bin Chinese products that ZTE is selling here. On the contrary, many American brands/companies dominate the Chinese market including Nike, Tesla, Apple, General Motors, Coach, Starbucks, Microsoft, KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Wendy's, Gillette, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Adidas, Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Walmart, etc. etc., Foreigners can buy property in China after they work/live there for a year. Some major Chinese cities make it even more difficult for Chinese citizens from other cities/provinces to buy property, requiring they work/live there for 5 years. However, Chinese citizens and foreigners alike only loan the property/land for 70 years and will have to return it to the government. You don't have to pay annual property taxes in China unlike the hefty 1% or more annual property tax and fees you pay in the US so there really is no incentives for the Chinese government. Regarding social media and chat app restrictions, there were many instances of Chinese citizens spreading anti-government propaganda and inciting civil unrest and violence. The Chinese government needs to make sure they have control over such platforms hence the restrictions. I personally don't support this form of communistic behavior but whether it is right/wrong is subjective. However, this have nothing to do with the unfair trade practices we are discussing.

47. Subie

Posts: 2476; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Lenovo/Motoroal, Oneplus, and Alcatel are other tech brands allowed to sell in the West. Lenovo for one does quite well selling laptops/desktops here too. And if I dig deeper I'm sure I can find more tech brand examples... Any Westerrn brands that "dominate" the Chinese market are because the Chinese want to purchase them and not because the Government is making it easier for them to be sold there. There are plenty of Chinese brands that sell well in the West as well, and just because they don't have the name recognition is not the fault of US regulations. Having to live (domestically) in China in order to "Lease" land is still a higher restriction I'm afraid, and still doesn't count as foreign ownership... And making excuses for the Chinese propping up their own software companies is no different then the US government doing anything similar.

48. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

Lenovo bought IBM personal computer division and assumed its debts at the time, which allowed them to gain access to the US Market. Lenovo did the same with Motorola. Similarly Alcatel was bought by TCL and their products remain in the bargain bin. Oneplus is not offered through any of the main US phone carriers, which is essential for mass market adoptance. Oneplus phones are sold through small merchants on Ebay, Amazon and Walmart. Even Huawei phones can be purchased this way. Recently there are talks of wanting to ban Chinese companies from buying American firms, so even this small "loophole" where Lenovo slid through would be closed. However, none of these companies are remotely close in size and potential to Huawei and Xiaomi that have the potential to take real market share and generate billions of dollars like the many US companies are already generating in China. If the US further shuts its doors on chinese companies, then I'm afraid China would have to respond by no longer keeping its doors wide open for US companies. Many think this Trump initiated trade war will only hurt the Chinese but it will be bad for all of us as US companies will bring home less money to our economic pool and prices in the US will soar which means everyone's spending power decreases. Like I said earlier, both foreigners and Chinese citizens alike cannot "own" land in China but simply "lease". This, however, have nothing to do with the trade imbalance the Trump admin have been preaching. How Chinese like to allow or not allow software in the name of keeping civil order among their own citizens is their own business. Whether we agree or not with their methods have nothing to do with the trade imbalance issue.

30. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Double post.

26. jacky899

Posts: 434; Member since: May 16, 2017

If you go to China, you will see the presence of American and western corporations are far more prevalent than you see Chinese presence in the US (E.G., McDonalds and KFC are the #1 and #2 restaurant franchise in China and you find one in almost every single city block). Claims by the US of export deficit between China and US is also BS. What they don't tell you is the majority of these exports from China into the US are for American and other non chinese brands such as Apple, Dell, Nike, Starbucks coffee, etc., where 98% of the profits go back to the US. In fact many Chinese manufacturers don't even want to manufacture for US companies anymore because the profit margins are razor thin if any at all. On the otherhand, how many mainstream, profitable Chinese brand products do you see entering the U.S.? Huawei would have been one of the 1st major ones but got shot down by the protectionistic US government just like many other Chinese companies who have tried in the past. I would just hate for China to retaliate after years of oppression by the bigger economic bully. This stupid trade war by Trump is going to make it bad for everyone.

3. Tipus

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Yup, same as Kaspersky spying for Russia :)) .

2. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

US Government just trying to start a fire with China based off nothing. Shocker.

1. toukale

Posts: 676; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

So, weren't Huawei telling everyone they passed Apple last year as the second leading device oem's around? How did they do that when Apple sold over 60 million devices then them? To put it into persperctive Apple is moving that many devices with an average selling price of $698 compare to Samsung and Huawei in low $200's. Another reason I never compare those guys to Apple, they are not playing in the same league.

7. kiko007

Posts: 7526; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Whomever said they were playing in the same league was delusional off jump. I can't believe anybody ever thought something so ridiculous on good faith.

11. Subie

Posts: 2476; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Yup, and even if Huawei manages to sell more phones than Apple - profitability is a completely different story...

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