Huawei revenues rise amid escalating security fears in Canada


Huawei’s global sales continued to climb in the first half of the year even as concerns about the smartphone maker’s links to the Chinese government permeated security discussions around the world.

The Shenzhen-based company, which has a sizeable R&D presence in Kanata, reported revenues of 325.7 billion Chinese yuan (C$62.2 billion) in the first six months of 2018, an increase of 15 per cent year-over-year.

While the firm said it expects to maintain this momentum in the rest of the year, Huawei has increasingly been the target of scrutiny by security officials in Canada, the United States and other Western nations.

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The Globe and Mail reported earlier this week that Canadian officials see the telecom firm as a major security threat. Concerns have been raised in the past about Huawei devices being used to spy on Canadian users, but the company has defended its operations.

Huawei vice-president of corporate affairs Scott Bradley told OBJ in March that the firm has worked “openly and transparently” with the Government of Canada and other Canadian operators since landing in the country and will continue to do so.

Still, security fears have prompted the Government of Canada to avoid integrating Huawei into the country’s emerging 5G network infrastructure. The firm’s local partners, however, have stood by the company in the past.

“Huawei are not only an important employer and member of the technical ecosystem in Ontario, they are on the leading edge for 5G development. This 5G development will be important to Canada and Canadian growth in the new digital economy,” read a statement last March from Ottawa-based CENGN, of which Huawei is a member.

Huawei received funding from the Ontario government’s Job and Prosperity Fund in recent years to augment a $303-million commitment from the firm towards its operations in the province.

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