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Huawei Reports Its Revenue Is Soaring Despite Roadblocks From The U.S.


Negotiators from the U.S. and China are in Shanghai for another round of trade talks. They are trying to address some key sticking points, including the Trump administration's efforts to block the Chinese tech giant Huawei from doing business in the U.S. Despite the roadblocks, Huawei said today its revenues are soaring. NPR's Jackie Northam has details.

JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Huawei is a private company and doesn't need to release its financial results, but these may have been too good to keep quiet. The Shenzhen-based company said its revenues were up 23% from a year ago. That's more than $58 billion in revenue so far this year; that despite the Commerce Department placing sweeping restrictions on U.S. companies doing business with Huawei. Adam Segal, a cyber expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, says the company's announcement today served two purposes - to counter arguments Huawei is a secretive Chinese company.

ADAM SEGAL: And I think the other is also to try to send the message that they haven't been hurt by the sanctions, that they will continue fighting and that they will survive.

NORTHAM: Huawei is the largest telecom equipment company in the world and one of the top developers of the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G. But the U.S. considers it a national security threat, saying it has close ties to the Chinese government and their equipment could be used for spying, a charge Huawei denies. Beijing has made it clear it wants Washington's restrictions on Huawei lifted. Last month, President Trump suggested Huawei could be taken off the Commerce Department's so-called entity list as part of a trade deal. Segal says he expects this will come up during this latest round of negotiations in Shanghai.

SEGAL: It is good timing that the negotiators will be there. They'll be facing off. And I think the Chinese will be pressing for the lifting of the Commerce entity list. But they will also be saying that, we can walk away from the deal if we have to.

NORTHAM: Still, Huawei acknowledged in its statement that the company could have difficulties ahead. It compared itself to an airplane riddled with bullet holes that will need to be patched up without losing altitude.

Jackie Northam, NPR News.


Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, geopolitics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.