Huawei – The Chinese Tech Company That Makes Smartphones and Other Devices

Huawei is a Chinese tech company that makes smartphones and other devices. It also makes networking equipment. Its network technology is used by many countries, including the United States.

In 2020, the Commerce Department banned the sale of semiconductors to Huawei. That forced the company to cancel or reprioritize lines of business.

Company Profile

Founded in 1988, Huawei specializes in information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, smart devices, and business solutions. It provides wireless, fixed, and cloud core networks, carrier software, IT infrastructure, network energy, and professional services to carriers, as well as smartphones, tablets, wearables, and converged home devices for consumers.

At the outset, Huawei was primarily an importer of PBX switches for China’s antiquated telephone system. As the country sought to rejoin the global industrial economy, however, demand for telecommunications equipment boomed and provided a window of opportunity.

In the 1990s, Huawei began building its own technologies and entered the global market. In 2006, European telecom giant Vodafone selected the company to supply UMTS equipment for its Spanish network. Huawei expanded its international R&D network, with subsidiaries and partnerships in Bangalore, Dallas, California’s Silicon Valley, Stockholm, and elsewhere. The company has a wide range of patents, and is largely owned by its employees through a stock option plan.


Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and the second-biggest smartphone maker. Its rise has stoked fears of espionage and intellectual property theft in the United States and other countries. They have imposed sweeping restrictions on the company.

The privately owned company was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army. It began by importing telephone switching gear from Hong Kong and selling it to Chinese companies seeking upgraded communications technology.

It now has R&D centers in Bangalore, Dallas, Silicon Valley and Stockholm, to supplement its main operations in Shenzhen. It has a unique management structure that combines centralized leadership with employee-ownership and decentralized decision-making.

NPR’s Jasmine Garsd reports that Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government have raised suspicions that it may pose security risks, even though the company insists it’s not involved in espionage. That’s despite the arrest of its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on charges that she violated U.S. export control laws.


Huawei offers a full range of carrier network equipment, such as switches and routers. It also produces mobile telephone handsets. The company focuses on innovation and has invested heavily in research and development.

In the late 1990s, it established R&D centers in the United States and in China. Then, in 1998, it expanded its international presence by opening a center in India.

Its efforts paid off, and Huawei’s products became increasingly popular. The firm quickly dominated the Asian market and grew rapidly overseas.

Huawei has become the second-largest maker of cellphones and a leader in networking gear, thanks to its aggressive marketing campaign that includes sponsorships of popular European soccer teams like Arsenal, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain, endorsements from star athletes like Lionel Messi, and product launches in cities across Europe. It has also stepped up investments in research and development, particularly in high-growth markets. This has helped the firm maintain steady growth in its carrier network, enterprise, and consumer business.


Huawei provides enterprise solutions & services including network infrastructure, unified communications & collaboration, data centre & cloud computing. Its products include switches, servers, wireless, access & security. The company also offers a variety of software, applications & systems integration.

At Shenzhen International Airport, Huawei’s AI platform enables intelligent gate assignment, which cuts flight departure delays by 88 percent and saves 4 million passengers per year the hassle of waiting for shuttle buses. The Shenzhen traffic management department also uses an AI command platform to monitor road conditions in real time and remotely control traffic lights based on the data.

The HUAWEI CLOUD ecosystem integrates 19,000+ partners, 1.6 million developers and offers over 400 million apps on the AppGallery. Its PowerStar solution helps customers generate 695.1 billion kWh of green electricity and save 200 million kWh of energy annually. Moreover, it helps reduce 340 million tons of CO2 emissions and offset 540 million trees. The company also offers a range of industry-recognized security certifications.

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