The Strategist

Huawei loses its main partner in the UK

12/06/2018 - 10:48

Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies Co., which is under serious pressure from the US authorities, is losing part of its business in the UK, The Wall Street Journal newspaper writes.

Kārlis Dambrāns
Kārlis Dambrāns
BT Group Plc, the UK's largest telecoms operator, announced replacement of Huawei equipment, which provides call and Internet traffic, in the company's networks.

BT notes that Huawei equipment is being replaced as part of a network upgrade launched two years ago, when the company acquired a wireless communications network using 10 years-old technologies.

BT said it would continue to buy some Huawei equipment, including for cell towers. "Huawei remains an important supplier of equipment," – the company noted.

The decision is a blow to Huawei not only from the financial point of view. The UK became the first foreign partner of Huawei more than 15 years ago. Before that, the Chinese company focused on the PRC market.

BT is one of Huawei’s largest customers outside of China. The company refused to disclose information about volume of purchases of Huawei products.

According to IHS Markit Ltd., in 2017, Huawei was the world's largest manufacturer of equipment for mobile communication networks, the Internet and other telecommunications infrastructure with a market share of 22%.

Earlier, Huawei essentially lost contracts for supply of telecommunications equipment in the United States amid allegations that this equipment is used to collect information of interests for the Chinese authorities. In August, the Australian government banned use of Huawei’s equipment and another Chinese company, ZTE Corp. in new 5G networks in the country.

Last month, the New Zealand authorities banned local telecommunications company Spark New Zealand from using Huawei equipment in a new 5G network.