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Huawei looks to topple Samsung as top smartphone maker despite US ban

Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd announced its plan to become the world’s biggest-selling smartphone vendor in 2019, despite its ban in the US market and corresponding global scrutiny of its devices on allegations of spying.

The positive forecast by Huawei is not in line with market leader Samsung and rival Apple (AAPL) with both the smartphone giants already warning of weakening sales.

Huawei, which also makes telecommunications equipment like spanning aerials to handsets, posted a 50% jump in consumer business revenue last year. Now, it looks to keep the growth momentum, with a huge launch next month — a foldable smartphone powered by its new 5G chipset.

Huawei’s smartphone division shipped 208 million handsets last year, even as worldwide smartphone shipments fell at least 3% last year.

CHINA CALLS HUAWEI BAN ‘HYSTERIA’

Beijing last week said that the proposed actions of the US government against ZTE, Huawei and other telecom equipment firms from China are due to “hysteria.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying took on the US action in a regular news briefing in Beijing.

A day before the briefing, US lawmakers introduced bills to ban the sale of US chips and components to Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp and other Chinese firms that violate sanctions and export control laws.

The bills name ZTE and Huawei, as the US views both of them with suspicion of spying on Americans.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal had reported that federal prosecutors were investigating allegations that Huawei stole trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS) and other native businesses.

HUAWEI FOUNDER DEFENDS FIRM

Despite Canada detaining Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is also founder Ren Zhengfei’s daughter, Ren denied that his company was in cahoots with the Chinese government.

Canada had detained Ren’s daughter at the request of US authorities who were investigating an alleged scheme to evade sanctions against Iran.

The US legislation is the latest in a long list of actions taken to fight what the Trump administration view as the Asian country involving in intellectual property theft, illegal corporate subsidies, and rules hampering US corporations who sell goods in China.

China growth to slow down in 2019 on slumping domestic demand, tariff concerns

Back in November, the US Department of Justice launched an investigation into China’s trade practices focused on trade secret theft cases.

Then, Washington indicted Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co Ltd for stealing trade secrets from US rival Micron Technology.

Despite an array of allegations, ZTE is looking for resolutions. Last year, ZTE agreed to a $1 billion fine slapped by the US due to an embargo breach on Iran. The US then lifted a ban in place since April that had prevented ZTE from buying the components from America that it heavily relies on for its smartphones and devices.

 

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