Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019
World

What you need to know about Huawei's Chinese technologies

Canadian authorities confirmed Wednesday the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies, while she was traveling to Vancouver on Saturday. According to repressive sources quoted by the Canadian media, Meng could be extradited to the United States on alleged charges of violating US trade sanctions imposed on Iran.

China has called for his release. Meng's arrest comes at a sensitive time for US-China relations. She was arrested on Saturday as President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Here is what you need to know about the company at the heart of the case.

Huawei sells more smartphones than Apple?

This is true.

Huawei has recently overtaken Apple as the world's second largest provider of mobile phones. In the second quarter, Apple sold 54.2 million smartphone models (15% of the global market), compared to 41.3 million iPhone (about 12%), according to data released in August by research companies IDC, Canalys and IHS Markit. The market battle between Apple and Huawei could tip from one quarter to the next in the future. But South Korea, Samsung, still occupies first place by a significant margin.

What is Huawei still doing?

It is the world's leading provider of network equipment used by telephone and Internet companies.

Huewei, a private company, was founded in southern China in the late 1980s by a former army officer, Ren Zhengfei, father of Meng. Since then, the company's growth has followed the emergence of China as an economic superpower.

Huawei currently employs 170,000 people in 170 countries.

Why is Huawei not better known in the United States?

Although Huawei is a major player in the telecommunications sector, it is not a household name in the United States. In large part, this is due to the fact that US lawmakers have perceived the company with suspicion and have taken steps to limit the company's presence on US soil.

Huawei's problems in the United States began in 2012 when lawmakers issued a signal the warning that the company's equipment could be used to spy on Americans. Since then, major US telecom operators have for the most part moved away from society. The company and the Chinese leaders deny the allegations of the United States.

It did not stop there. Commerce and Treasury departments have sued the company over possible violations of US sanctions laws. Earlier this year, AT & T dropped an agreement to sell Huawei cell phones to US customers.

But society has an American presence. Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of 26 lawmakers wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to voice concerns about the Chinese firm's research partnerships with dozens of US institutions.

So, how can I say it?

For English speakers, the name of the company is not meaningless. An easy way, even if it is imperfect, to think about it is: "wah-way".

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