Huawei Hit By China Backlash: 2020 Just Got Much Worse—Here’s Why

Forbes
Date: April 20, 2020
By: Zak Doffman, Contributor

AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Huawei now looks set to be caught in the backlash as global political pressure mounts on China over its handling of the global coronavirus pandemic. Huawei had already warned that 2020 would be its toughest year yet, with “survival our first priority,” and that situation has now worsened—significantly.

Huawei is now almost entirely reliant on the Chinese market for growth—last year, sales in its home market soared 36% to account for around 60% of total revenues. Huawei is also reliant on China to wield its diplomatic broadsword against countries wavering over their 5G decisions, pour encourager les autres.

Talking of swords, this symbiotic relationship between Beijing and its number-one favorite tech giant has become somewhat double-edged. The U.S. blacklist, with its consequent impact on international sales, has removed Huawei’s international hedge. It cannot risk annoying Beijing, it needs to toe the political line.

We saw this last year with Xinjiang. Huawei has always maintained that sales of its technology into the surveillance state targeting China’s Uighur Muslim minority were through third-parties—it had no direct engagement. This was refuted by a new report that claimed Huawei was much more closely and directly involved.    [FULL  STORY]

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