For some months now, I’ve been under the impression that Huawei had left the US market. This impression came from a back and forth tug of war between Huawei and bad press during 2012 and 2013. The issues stemmed from accusations of espionage which left many folks uneasy. A widely reported story in April 2013 quoted Eric Xu as saying Huawei was no longer interested in the US market, making it easy to conclude Huawei wasn’t going to bother with the difficult upstream paddle any further. I tuned out at that point.
At Interop NYC last week, I noticed that Huawei was a noted event sponsor. Further, Ma Da, Enterprise Network Marketing Director talked briefly with me to point out the actual Huawei reality. Huawei hasn’t left the US market. Huawei never left the US market. In fact, Huawei has issued the following statement of its current position.
Mr. Xu’s statement reflects the realities of our carrier network business in the U.S. The growth of Huawei’s carrier network business is primarily from developed markets in other parts of the world. Considering the situation our company currently faces in the U.S., it would be very difficult for the U.S. market to become a primary revenue source or a key growth area for our carrier network business in the foreseeable future.
In spite of this challenge, our U.S. employees remain committed to providing quality services for our customers.
Later stories contradicted the original story, but I didn’t notice, considering how much news there is to keep up with. Maybe I’m the only one that missed the memo, but I suspect that some other folks didn’t notice either.
Why does the average US network engineer care about Huawei? Because they are a globally massive telecommunications powerhouse with a wide range of products. My understanding is that they win on providing rich features at reasonable costs. Huawei has a complete line of Ethernet switching products, along with other offerings the average enterprise would find map to their needs. While the US isn’t a major revenue source for Huawei as yet, it seems plausible that they are as viable a candidate for a US enterprise’s network needs as any others. Whatever your personal stance might be on doing business with Huawei, one thing seems clear: they aren’t going away.