Huawei, the world’s second-largest supplier of network gear by revenue, is pulling out of the U.S. after it sales efforts have been repeatedly stymied due to concerns over national security. According to a report in the Financial Times, executive vice president Eric Xu said at the company’s annual analyst summit yesterday that Huawei “is not interested in the U.S. market any more.” He added that the company has been gradually shifting its focus away from the U.S. over the last year as it seeks to expand in other global markets.
I am surprised that Huawei is pulling out of the US. And I wonder if this might prove to be a double edged sword for non-Chinese equipment sellers.
The good news is that ALU does not have to worry about low cost Chinese providers that would have taken business from them in the eventuality that the US ban was dropped. After all, a couple of years ago, both ATT and Sprint, the latter actually having a contract, I believe, were going to buy Huawei LTE equipment...which would have crushed ALU.
The bad news. Huawei is going to refocus its efforts on Europe, which will make far better use of a considerable chunk of cash previously wasted in the US with no hope of a major contract win. Presumably, this strategic shift will make Huawei all the more aggressive in Europe, to the detriment of all competitors, including ALU. And if The Register's recent report that "only four out of the 27 EU member states were in favor of a probe (of Huawei) and that did not include the EU's largest economy, Germany", is true, it seems very unlikely if there will be any action against Huawei in Europe.
I also wonder what all this might mean to foreign telecom equipment sellers trying to do business in China? I think it is safe to assume that Huawei and the Chinese government are not pleased about Huawei's "forced" departure from the US, especially if security claims against Huawei are untrue...and to date there are only charges...with ZERO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE.
So what does the Chinese government, known to be vindictive, do when it feels a major Chinese firm (Huawei) has been unfairly treated? Some sort of retribution in order by the Chinese government hardly seems a long shot, if you know what I mean? Like pressuring Chinese service providers into reducing the share of future contracts for foreign firms. Very easy to do. Impossible to prove.
It could get ugly. Fast. No wonder, also according to The Register, foreign telecom equipment sellers are reluctant to complain.