Huawei (pronounced "Wow-way") is truly a force to be reckoned with in global telecoms. The company is now the world's biggest manufacturer of mobile infrastructure equipment, supplying all but five of the top 50 telecoms providers globally. It has around 22% global market share, well ahead of rivals Nokia (13%), Ericsson (11%) and ZTE (10%). More recently though, it has turned its attention to the consumer market, launching its own handsets with considerable success. In 2013, it became the global #3 in smartphones behind Samsung and Apple, and moved up to second place for the first time in 2Q 2018 ahead of Apple. Volumes for 2017 reached 157m in 2017, and are expected to top 200m for the current year. (See latest figures here). Key handset models include the top-of-the-range Mate series (equivalent to Samsung's Galaxy), P20 and P10. Honor is a low-end sub-brand. The group also makes Matebook laptops and Mediapad tablets. On the back of this success it became the first Chinese brand to enter Interbrand's annual ranking of Best Global Brands in 2014. Almost incredibly the business was only established in 1987, and is still a private company owned collectively by its employees, rather than a state-owned enterprise. Founder Ren Zhengfei is CEO but shares management responsibility with a team of partners who rotate the role of chairm,an between them. Huawei also has a broad global footprint. Revenues for 2017 were around $92.5bn, having more than doubled in just three years. Network and enterprise solutions around for around two-thirds of revenues, and consumer devices for the remaining third. Around half of sales are generated in China, with another quarter from the EMEA region. One of the group's weakest markets is the US: its networking equipment was all but banned there in 2012 over concerns for national security. There are similar restrictions in Australia, and some other countries including the UK are considering following suit. The business was founded in 1987 as the agent in mainland China for a Hong Kong company manufacturing network components. It began developing its own network hardware a decade later, and its first smartphones in 2012. The company is privately owned by its employees.
Capsule checked 14th November 2018
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Adbrands Daily Update 7th Dec 2018: The war between the US government and Huawei Technologies - and by extension with China - ratcheted up a notch with the arrest in Canada of Huawei's CFO Sabrina Meng, also the daughter of the company's founder and CEO, and his likely successor. The arrest was made at the request of the US, which has applied for extradition, alleging violations by Huawei of sanctions against doing business with Iran. Also this week, in response to growing pressure from the US on its allies to stop using Huawei infrastructure, BT said it had removed the Chinese company's equipment from its voice and data networks.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Nov 2018: The US government has stepped up a campaign to encourage its allies not to use mobile telecoms infrastructure supplied by Chinese company Huawei Technologies, citing cybersecurity risks. These worries pre-date the Trump administration: they were originally voiced in a 2012 congressional report which named Huawei as a potential national security risk. Those fears have accelerated with the imminent rollout of 5G technology and what is likely to be much wider usage of "internet of things" connectivity, for example in manufacturing. The complexities of 5G networks make them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Huawei's infrastructure equipment is already in effect blacklisted within the US and several other countries have imposed or are considering a similar shutdown. Australia this year banned both Huawei and fellow Chinese supplier ZTE as suppliers of domestic 5G technology; New Zealand imposed a ban on Huawei this week. The Chinese company denies all suggestions of interference, pointing out that it is a private company owned by its employees not by the state.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Nov 2018: Market watcher IDC reported a 6% decline in smartphone shipments in 3Q, the 4th consecutive year-on-year decline. The biggest loser was Samsung, which suffered a shock 13% slide in volumes to 72m devices, even though it retained a clear global lead over any other manufacturer. Just as shocking, perhaps, was a giant leap by Huawei which seized the #2 position by global volumes, with a 33% year-on-year increase to 52m units. That displaced Apple, which edged up by just 0.5% to 47m devices. It has two Chinese challengers breathing down its neck: Xiaomi was up 21% year on year to 34m units, ahead of countrymate Oppo at 30m. The top five manufacturers continued to increase their overall share at the expense of other handset makers.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Aug 2018: Impressive results from Apple for the quarter to June were undercut by new figures from researcher IDC which show the brand slipped to 3rd place by volume among global smartphones in the latest quarter. The higher price of Apple's iPhone X helped the company to report record results for the quarter to June, usually its weakest period. Revenues from iPhone jumped by 20% year-on-year despite only a 1% increase in volumes. Group sales of $53.3bn also included a best-ever contribution of $9.5bn from services such as subscriptions and app sales. However, Apple was overtaken in total global volumes for the first time by Huawei. The Chinese brand catapulted into second place overall with unit sales of over 54m devices, equivalent to 15.8% share, ahead of Apple's 41m devices and 12.1% share. Huawei is already the leading smartphone in China by a considerable margin, with local share of 27%, while Xiaomi is now the local leader in India, and #4 worldwide. However, Samsung retains the top spot globally with 20.9% share. Oppo rounded out the global top five. The market for all other manufacturers continued to decline; their combined share slipped to 33% in 2Q, down from over 40% a year ago.
Adbrands Social Media 3rd Apr 2018: "Gal Gadot" Life just gets better and better for Gal "Wonder Woman" Gadot. Earlier this year she signed up as global "chief experience officer" for Chinese mobile brand Huawei (as well as for Revlon) and here's the first fruits of the partnership, a suitably phantasmagorical dreamscape from TBWA's Israeli outpost, LH\TBWA. Actually Gadot's been repping Huawei for several years back home in Israel, but her new-found Hollywood status must have made a big difference to her deal. We all already knew how to pronounce *her* surname (with the hard "t"). Now - at last - we also know to say "Wow-way", instead of "Whoo-are-way".
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