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Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (/ˈhwɑːˌweɪ/; Chinese: 华为; pinyin: About this soundHuáwéi) is a Chinese multinational technology company that provides telecommunications equipment and sells consumer electronics, including smartphones and is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
The company was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei. Initially focused on manufacturing phone switches, Huawei has expanded its business to include building telecommunications networks, providing operational and consulting services and equipment to enterprises inside and outside of China, and manufacturing communications devices for the consumer market. Huawei had over 188,000 employees as of September 2018, around 76,000 of them engaged in Research & Development (R&D). It has 21 R&D institutes around the world, and in April 2019, opened the dedicated Ox Horn Campus in Dongguan. As of 2017, the company invested US$13.8 billion in R&D.
Huawei has deployed its products and services in more than 170 countries, and as of 2011 it served 45 of the 50 largest telecom operators.[need quotation to verify] Its networks, numbering over 1,500, reach one third of the world’s population. Huawei overtook Ericsson in 2012 as the largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer in the world, and overtook Apple in 2018 as the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, behind Samsung Electronics. It ranks 72nd on the Fortune Global 500 list. In December 2018, Huawei reported that its annual revenue had risen to US$108.5 billion in 2018 (a 21% increase over 2017).
Although successful internationally, Huawei has faced difficulties in some markets, due to cybersecurity allegations—primarily from the United States government—that Huawei’s infrastructure equipment may enable surveillance by the Chinese government. Especially with the development of 5G wireless networks (which China has aggressively promoted), there have been calls from the U.S. to prevent the use of products by Huawei or fellow Chinese telecom ZTE by the U.S. or its allies. Huawei has argued that its products posed “no greater cybersecurity risk” than those of any other vendor and that there is no evidence of the U.S. espionage claims. Nonetheless, Huawei pulled out of the U.S. consumer market in 2018, after these concerns affected the ability to market their consumer products there.
U.S. measures intensified in May 2019; in the midst of an ongoing trade war between China and the United States, Huawei was restricted from doing commerce with U.S. companies due to alleged previous willful violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran. On 29 June 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump reached an agreement to resume trade talks with China and announced that he would ease the aforementioned sanctions on Huawei.