“Globally we already have 50 … commercial 5G contracts,” Huawei deputy chairman and rotating CEO Ken Hu said during a presentation at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai. That’s an increase of 10 since the end of March.
It was a show of force from the embattled Chinese tech giant at one of the industry’s biggest international conferences.
Washington fears that Beijing could use Huawei equipment to spy on other nations and it’s been pressuring allies to shut the company out of next generation super-fast 5G wireless networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied that any of its products pose a risk to national security.
Huawei has “already found alternative supply solutions, including our self-developed solutions or sourcing from non-American partners” for components affected by the US blacklist, Hu told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.
“In terms of where Huawei stands right now, our overall supply is not affected,” he added.
Huawei is a leader in 5G technology and has invested $4 billion over the last decade in developing the next generation of wireless technology that will underpin much of the new digital economy.
Beyond contracts, Huawei said it has deployed 150,000 5G base stations so far, and anticipates shipping 500,000 by the end of the year.
“All Huawei smartphones that have been sold, that are in stock, will not be affected at all with this access to the Android operating system or Google applications,” Hu said.
The company hopes to continue to use Google’s operating system and services in the future, but if it can’t, “we will have to find alternative solutions,” he said.
While the company remains open to buying from American suppliers if the restrictions are eventually lifted, it “will stick to that diversified structure and strategy so that we will be better positioned in dealing with the uncertain political environment,” Hu said.