Huawei Delays Plans to Become Number One Smartphone Leader after Suffering U.S. Ban

At CES Asia today, Huawei executive Shao Yang remarked in his keynote the company's next steps after the technology leader was forced to delay its goal of becoming the number one smartphone seller.
Susan Fourtané
Photo: Tolga Uslu for Interesting Engineering

SHANGHAI, China -- Along its history, Huawei Technologies, a company 100 percent owned by its employees, always had huge competitors. For this, the company developed a tradition of hard work, delivering results, and always with its customers in mind.

Little by little, this tradition became the heart of the company. "I saw progress in our work that provided quality to our customers," said Shao Yang, Huawei Consumer Business Group Chief Strategy Officer during his keynote today at CES Asia 2019 in Shanghai, China.

Shao Yang joined the Chinese technology giant in 1998, when the company was developing wireless technology. They had a vision: Yang and his colleagues wanted to create a better world by acting and building it.

From 2013 to 2019, Huawei has been designing smartphones, making transformations not only in the outer design but also working in improving algorithms and software. "The key of the mobile phone is the processor," said Yang during his presentation.

According to Yang, the company now sells 600 units a day. They sold over six million units of the P6 smartphone. The telecoms technology leader is expected to become the number one leader in global smartphone sales by Q4 this year.

However, those plans have been forced to be put on hold for a while, after the decision by the United States government to put Huawei, on a black list. The black list is officially called the Entity List.

According to the U.S. government, the companies placed on this list pose a significant risk to the country's national security.

The U.S. ban raised serious questions, consequently hurting international sales. The ban, which placed Huawei and 66 of its affiliates on a trade blacklist has restricted the company from buying services from U.S. companies without approval.

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Suppliers such as Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Xilinx have stopped supplying Huawei until further notice.

Most recently, a Huawei top executive offered the U.S. government a no-spy agreement to show that the company is willing to end the tension between the two nations and at the same time, the company denied the accusations made by the U.S.

"We are willing to sign a no-spy agreement with the U.S.," said Huawei Chairman Liang Hua, while speaking at the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

Today, during his keynote, Shao Yang shared memories from the beginning of the company, its history, its dreams. Yang said that sometimes it is midnight and they are still working.

Some of his colleagues could have gone home, they could retire. But they stayed because, "there still some undone things," he said.

"I imagined myself 20 years ago. Nothing has changed. We stood until midnight then, as well. That's the current situation in Huawei. It's the key to our success," he said.

Huawei's current strategy spins around consumer business as the second area that they want to develop. Yang said that the Consumer Business Group started in 2011. He went on, by explaining how the development of mobile phones has been leading to the development of many other devices.

"We use them for navigation, for listening to music. We still send messages via phones," the Huawei executive said. In other words, for Yang, mobile phones have become the most popular devices.

On the other hand, he believes that TV's popularity has declined, becoming pretty much useless appliances for those younger than six years old. The Shenzhen-based telecoms technology company now focuses on Artificial Intelligence, cloud services, and home smart assistants.

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