Chinese telecom major Huawei received a rare glimmer of good news in July. A report from market research firm Canalys showed it had finally achieved a longstanding dream. In the quarter ended June, Huawei surpassed surpassed The Verge For the first time ever, Huawei has shipped more smartphones worldwide over a quarter than any other company, according to a new report from analyst firm Canalys. Read more  Korean rival Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.

This victory, though, isn’t a statement of Huawei’s global domination. In fact, it speaks to the exact opposite. The Shenzhen-headquartered company shot to #1 because of its solidity in China, which was relatively unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its home country accounts for over 70% of its total smartphone sales. Samsung—which saw shipments fall by 30%—was hurt significantly as many key global markets came to a standstill due to the virus.

Where Huawei has established a global footprint is in building the networks that smartphones run on. Over the past two years, however, as anti-China headwinds grew stronger, the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government have put it in the crosshairs of various governments and national regulators. Telecom networks are, after all, critical to national security, and the danger of these being compromised by an agent of a rival country is a risk few are willing to chance.

While only four out of the world’s 30 leading economies have explicitly banned Huawei, many have asked telecom operators to keep Huawei’s equipment out of their 5G deployments. This, despite the company’s offerings being being Nikkei Asian Review Huawei, with price competitiveness that many experts often point out is roughly 30% cheaper than Ericsson and Nokia Read more  considerably cheaper—up to 30% lower than rival vendors.

It is already a market leader in selling equipment, according to the tech research firm, Dell’Oro. It has also been hard at work in proposing new standards for 5G to 3GPP 3GPP 3GPP The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is an umbrella term for a number of standards organizations which develop protocols for mobile telecommunications. , the global body that develops telecom standards. Indeed, it has made more 5G standard proposals more 5G standard proposals Financial Times China submitted 830 technical documents related to wired communications specifications to the International Telecommunication Union last year, the most of any country and more than the next three — South Korea, the US and Japan — combined Read more  to 3GPP than any other vendor.

AUTHOR

Pranav Balakrishnan

Pranav writes about the business of moving people and things around, i.e, mobility and e-commerce. Over the past two years, he has written about Ola, Tesla, Flipkart, Amazon, and the increasing role played by Reliance Industries in the Indian technology story. Pranav joined The Ken from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, specialising in business journalism.

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