Huawei and goodbye. A regular column on the information industries

Publication Date13 January 2020
Date13 January 2020
AuthorPeter Curwen
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Information management & governance,Information policy
Huawei and goodbye
A regular column on the information industries
Peter Curwen
Peter Curwen is based at Newcastle
Business School, Northumbria
University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Some equipment vendors
operate primarily in the market
for network infrastructure,
some primarily in the smartphone
market and a very few are prominent
in both. One such is Huawei, based in
China. It has recently been attracting
a great deal of media attention,
almost all of which has been highly
negative. This is fundamentally
because it is a company without a
stock market listing and hencepublic
scrutiny that is widely viewed as a
willing agent of the Chinese
Government, although the company
itself claims that it is one step
removed. In essence, whatis widely
believed is that if the government
“requests” its co-operationin passing
on consumer or business data or, as
many suspect, in spying on other
countries, Huawei has little choicebut
to comply.
Huawei more strictly the Huawei
Technologies Co Ltd is now part of a
trade blacklist created by an
executive order signed by President
Trump as part of economic sanctions
designed to influence the balance of
trade between the USA and China.
The executive order authorises the
Secretary of Commerce to deny
access to the USA to companies
deemed to be national security
threats. Although no specific
countries or companies werein
initially specified, Huaweiwas
subsequently named on an “Entity
List” of blacklisted companies.
But why is Huaweiso significant in this
regard? Consider,first, the market for
hand-held devices,especially
smartphones.It is unfortunate that the
decision by Appletowards the end of
2018 to discontinue the publicationof
smartphone ship ments means that an
element of guesswork has crept into
the calculationof shipments and
market shares,and there are
discrepancies bet ween the data
released by the likesof Strategy
Analytics andCanalys. However, what
seems to be clear is thatthe overall
market for smartphones has been
shrinking forthe past five quarters,
representingthe first year-on-year
decline since the iPhone first
appeared in 2007.
According to,1,488
million smartphones were shippedin
2016, 1,507 million in 2017 and 1,432
million in 2018, with the quarterlypeak
of 400 million reached in 2017Q4.
Having made their best guess about
the Apple shipments data, telecoms.
com reckon that there arethree
dominant vendors: Samsung with
market shares in 2016, 2017 and
2018 of 20.6, 21.1 and 20.3 per cent,
PAGE 50 jDIGITAL POLICY, REGULATION AND GOVERNANCE jVOL. 22 NO.1 2020, pp. 50-51, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2398-5038 DOI 10.1108/DPRG-01-2020-084

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