Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications gear, has shipped more smartphones than ever before, announcing Sunday that its 2018 shipments exceeded 200 million devices.
China’s largest privately held company and the world’s second biggest smartphone maker, Huawei said its phone shipments increased more than 30 per cent from last year. “In the global smartphone market, Huawei has gone from being dismissed as a statistical ‘other’ to ranking among the Top 3 players in the world,” Huawei said in a statement, according to CNET.
Earlier this year, Huawei topped Apple in the number of smartphone units shipped, and ranks behind only one other company, Samsung.
According to scmp.com, the announcement of record-setting phone sales arrives amid increasing tensions between the company and the US government and its allies. Huawei’s chief financial officer, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada on December 1 at the request of the US government for allegedly committing fraud to evade sanctions on Iran. Beijing has pushed for her release and suggested that her arrest was part of a US effort to gain an advantage in its ongoing trade battles with China.
Several US allies have followed the Trump administration in largely barring the use of Huawei devices. They cite a risk that the company’s technology could be used to inform Chinese intelligence officers aiming to spy on or disrupt foreign governments, military agencies and corporations.
Australia, Britain and New Zealand have joined the US in blocking Huawei from their next-generation 5G mobile network. And earlier this month, Japan effectively banned Huawei and another Chinese tech provider, ZTE, from government contracts to prevent potential leaks of sensitive data. Huawei and the Chinese government have cast the blacklisting as politically motivated and denied wrongdoing.
Huawei has posted significant growth even as several governments have moved against it. The company said its record-breaking shipments were largely fuelled by the demand for its P20, Honor 10 and Mate 20 smartphones.
November data released by the research firm IDC, Huawei claims more than 14 per cent of the global smartphone market, behind Samsung’s 20 per cent, which is sliding. Apple is in third place with 13 per cent of market share. Huawei’s head of consumer business has said it’s possible Huawei becomes the world’s top smartphone maker by the end of next year, pointing to strong growth in Europe and China.