back to article A funny thing happened on Huawei to the bank. We made even more money. Hahaha. Here till Friday

Huawei has continued to rake in the big bucks in spite of continued dark mutterings over what may or may not be lurking within its code. The company published financials today showing that for the first three quarters of 2019 it had generated ¥610.8bn ($86bn) in revenue, a healthy 24.4 per cent up on the same period last year …

  1. Spanners Silver badge
    Flame

    US ban is little to do with security

    People should say it out loud. The US "embargo" is all to do with protectionism against foreign competition and free trade but very little to do with security

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US ban is little to do with security

      Can you name the companies that benefit from this protectionism and where they are based? It goes a long way towards validating your point.

      If you are unsure, have a look at who currently holds 5G patents.

      The security aspect is around "what if China has a falling out with the rest of the world, how much disruption would be caused if a lack of support/licencing resulted in mobile networks being unavailable?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: US ban is little to do with security

        I would imagine the hope would be Qualcomm and eventually Cisco. The fact the Huawei has a large amount of the 5G patents has no relevance due to the fact that they fall under FRAND, and that they probably have a cross licensing deal.

        If Huawei is out of the US and they were able to get most of the rest of the world on their side then Huawei would only have their patents for 5G which are under FRAND. This would cause their hardware division to decline, reducing investment in future technologies and the creation of patents for next gen tech, this would move to the European and American companies.

        The hope then would be that Qualcomm could increase their share and start producing more infrastructure along with Cisco.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: US ban is little to do with security

          Here's a useful guide to stop you just imagining:

          https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/2019/10/5G-patent-leadership

          There are other 5G patent portfolios indicating Huawei and other Chinese organisations have around 50%--60% of the portfolio - while true, I believe Ericsson's view of patents is likely to be more representative of key patents that will either be licensed or covered by industry standards and FRAND licenses.

          As you can see, the majority of patents fall to the EU/South Korea/China.

          While Qualcomm have patents for the US, many are on the handset side and not critical for 5G infrastructure - they will get a portion of FRAND standards (based on this being one of their historical strengths) for infrastructure, but the vast majority of Qualcomms 3G/4G patent revenue comes from handsets and selling chipsets with necessary patents bundled. Because of their dependence on infrastructure to support handsets, Qualcomm are penalised from 5G infrastructure being delayed. Intel also have some patents related to 5G infrastructure but there are questions about the usefulness of these if Intel are unable to produce working components utilising these patents.

          Your comments around FRAND miss the point about still having to pay for use - a company contributing to the FRAND patent portfolio gets a share of the FRAND revenue which is effectively a (significant) discount versus competitors with no FRAND patents. Effectively that means the game is weighted towards Ericsson/Huawei/Nokia/Samsung/ZTE - which is why they are predicted to account for around 95+% of the 5G infrastructure market.

          Cisco aren't in the 5G game unless they decide to buy Ericsson (rumoured but unlikely...)

          1. vgrig_us

            Re: US ban is little to do with security

            5g access points and radio infrastructure is not why Cisco is one of the main companies behind the push to ban Huawei - is wired service provider infrastructure (switches, routers), servers (Cisco sells usc), storage (Cisco unified switches are part of many vendor's storage offerings), Enterprise switches, routers and wifi.

            5g is talked about because it's mo visible and overhyped.

            Huawei is killing Cisco's business in every country that can't afford, say, Arista.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: US ban is little to do with security

              "Huawei is killing Cisco's business in every country that can't afford, say, Arista."

              Huawei aren't killing Cisco's enterprise business - cloud is. And when Microsoft realise that they need to develop their own networking kit to keep up with AWS/Google/Tencent/Alibaba, Arista's steller growth and ~25% of their annual revenue disappears.

              Huawei are indirectly killing Cisco's voice/telco business because of the global move away from fixed line services to mobile, but that's been happening for years and Cisco haven't demonstrated a clear direction on how they will address this yet and why there have been rumours of a merger/takeover/something with Ericsson.

              Your comments about Huawei apply equally well to many traditional storage/server/networking vendors that are being undercut by Huawei and other Chinese companies in their traditional markets and are losing existing customers to cloud providers at the same time.

              Banning Huawei isn't going to slow the move away from traditional fixed line telco's - at best it gives you 1-2 years before Ericsson/Nokia catch up and deploy non-Chinese 5G networks.

              Plus the trade war with China appears to have cost Cisco ~8% revenue. If Cisco wanted this, it was remarkably short sighted....they didn't even manage a brief bump in revenues for such a large loss and its unlikely they will see much of it return if the trade war ends.

              1. vgrig_us

                Re: US ban is little to do with security

                @ac

                Microsoft cloud uses shitload of Arista switches btw - thair biggest customer...

                And yes - other vendors are hurt by Huawei, but they are not known to be as giant anticompetitive f&cks as cisco.

      2. israel_hands

        Re: US ban is little to do with security

        Can you name the companies that benefit from this protectionism and where they are based? It goes a long way towards validating your point.

        It's a Trump policy, what makes you think there need to be any beneficiaries?

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: US ban is little to do with security

          Trump policy - he'll offer to reverse it if Huawei can dish any dirt on his rivals

        2. macjules Silver badge

          Re: US ban is little to do with security

          What makes you think there needs to be any 'policy'?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: US ban is little to do with security

        The security aspect is around ...

        That'll be why Trump is threatening his traditional allies with withholding intelligence sharing. 'Cos mobile network downtime will obviously result in China intercepting his top-secret communications, right?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: US ban is little to do with security

          It's not about intercepting top-secret communications.

          It's about the potential public disorder created by a foreign power switching off your mobile networks. Particularly if your transport networks and other critical infrastructure depend on them in a few years time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: US ban is little to do with security

            Trump was very particular: it was exactly the secret intelligence communications he was talking about. Hence the threat to the UK government and others: allow Huawei and we'll stop (quickly adjusted to review) sharing Intelligence.

            You may rationalise it to something that's at least theoretically plausible, but Trump's stated reason for banning Huawei was indeed on the level of legislating pi.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: US ban is little to do with security

              My interpretation of withdrawal of intelligence sharing was that it was a punishment if Chinese systems were used. If the secret intelligence communications is directly accessible from 5G networks, it's unlikely to be the 5G networks that are the cause of any unwanted disclosures...

              And I'm less interested in Trump's stated reasons - he is being advised by others on preferred positions on this issue (intelligence community/military/trade/diplomatic/business lobbying etc) and providing them to a general audience so any subtleties/context are likely to be lost. Making this about Trump also ignores the varied underlying causes for this tension between China and the US.

          2. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: US ban is little to do with security

            It's about the potential public disorder created by a foreign power switching off your mobile networks.

            Want to buy a bridge? Seems you'll buy any story.

            Lets say China fall out with the rest of the world. How does that equate to Huawei being able to turn off a UK operators 5G access points? Huawei have even given us source to all the firmware and software running on these access points, so we wouldn't be reliant on anything from them if things went pear shaped.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: US ban is little to do with security

              "How does that equate to Huawei being able to turn off a UK operators 5G access points?"

              It doesn't, at least not immediately.

              However, look at what happened with O2 and Ericsson when a certificate expired unexpectedly - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/06/ericsson_o2_telefonica_uk_outage/

              This isn't about buying bridges, its about acknowledging that the infrastructure behind large mobile networks is both complex and increasingly critical for many services. Getting cut off from support would be a significant challenge for most mobile operators, even with source code, firmware and detailed documentation.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: US ban is little to do with security

                Or maybe Three as a more current issue.

                Think Cold War mindset versus the more open International relations the west have enjoyed over the last 25 years. Rather than just allowing competition in key market places, more emphasis is placed on trust and whether friendly companies should be propped up to avoid key infrastructure needing to use less trusted companies.

              2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: US ban is little to do with security

                > Getting cut off from support would be a significant challenge for most mobile operators, even with source code, firmware and detailed documentation.

                Like if your new carrier aircraft had their engines serviced in a foreign country your boss had just sworn to destroy the economy of.

  2. Sil

    Far from rosy

    The situation is not that good for Huawei.

    It only sold 47 miillion smartphones in Q3, a 9 % decline YoY, and 12 million less than in Q2.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Far from rosy

      There is more to Huawei than their mobile phone division.

      1. GrapeBunch Silver badge

        Re: Far from rosy

        There is more to Huawei than meets Huawei.

    2. DrBed
      Facepalm

      Re: Far from rosy

      The situation is not that good for Huawei. It only sold 47 miillion smartphones in Q3, a 9 % decline YoY, and 12 million less than in Q2.

      Where did you get those numbers? FoxNews? Huawei sold around 60m every each quarter, 58-59m @Q1 iirc. It means at least 60m @Q3 (185m total in first 3 quarters). Btw, YoY constant growth.

      No soup iPhone for you.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Far from rosy

        For the past couple of quarters, Huawei has been focusing a lot of sales effort on the home market. That is to say, it's sold a lot of smartphones in China.

        It's possible that their international sales have slipped but the domestic demand has more than offset the effect. I don't know, I'm just trying to square where contradictory figures might come from.

        If that is the case, it's worth noting that the Chinese already have enough American money to continue stimulating their own economy through five more years of Trumpery, if that's what it takes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Far from rosy

          Huawei released numbers yesterday - 185 million units in first three quarts.

          This amounts to 67 million units - a 13.5% increase. The question is whether it is channel stuffing as a way of hiding the impact of political actions or genuine demand.

          https://www.gsmarena.com/huaweis_q3_results_show_growing_revenues_and_smartphone_shipments-news-39656.php

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Far from rosy

            I wouldn't think that they would want to do channel stuffing, that would hit their bottom line severely, manufacturing hardware people aren't buying just to make their mobile division look healthy, which would then be contradicted easily.

  3. carl0s

    I like my P20 Pro, and I have recently bought a mediapad m5 8" tablet. It's very good as an ereader. I was fed up of my £300 kindle that had a very blue screen, the fix for which is a new version for another £300. The mediapad does pdfs nicely and in colour and is not heavy.

    The devil's advocate, or rather the opposite - the brainwash protection in me, makes me want to support Huawei.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wait, what?

      What Kindle costs £300?

      And 'blue screen' suggests that you have a Kindle with an LCD, not E Ink, which is not what most people associate with the name 'Kindle'.

      (That's why Amazon had to drop the Kindle in Kindle Fire and go with Amazon Fire instead)

      Edit:

      Are you using Blue Filter? If so, turn it off.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201969370

      1. carl0s

        Re: Wait, what?

        I have a Kindle Oasis. The one with the extra battery in the leather cover.

        The backlight is very white/bluey.

        They've just brought out a new revision, which doesn't have the extra battery/cover, but adds a colour temperature control ('adjustable warm light'), so you can go sepia to bluey white. It starts at about £230. Same as my last one I think.

        Mine is definitely quite bluey white.

        I got a Tablift holder to go with the Mediapad tablet. I'm very pleased with it. I'm trying to learn lots of stuff from big PDFs and it works much better than the Kindle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wait, what?

          Ah, that one.

          All the "front-lit" E Ink Kindles have this bluish/whitish tint. Kobo fixed that ages ago, but Amazon has just started to catch up.

          You can't do anything except adding a physical blue light filter, like the one they have for tablets, because the Kindle's blue light filter is essentially a bunch of orange LEDs that's mixed and matched with the white ones.

          If you aren't concerned about the eye fatigue associated with LCD backlight (not the sleeping pattern disruption, but myopia) then it's quite a good replacement. The LCD is in vibrant color, and the refresh rate is fast.

          I myself can't stand studying on anything with a backlight. It definitely makes my eyes sore, but I don't know if this is psychosomatic or not though, and as I have the lowest-end Kindle Basic, I haven't really tried the frontlight extensively, aside from trying Paperwhites and others owned by friends.

          The stock Kindle firmware sucks for PDF, but with a jailbreak and an extra piece of open-source software called KOReader, PDF files can be reflowed to match the Kindle's size. That's how I'm currently using it for studying.

          Don't let the old Kindle rot away in a drawer though. Either sell it secondhand and get some cash back, or jailbreak it and repurpose it as a very power-efficient E Ink ARM computer that runs Linux.

          1. carl0s

            Re: Wait, what?

            I tried to open the Kindle up so that I could put some yellow kaptan tape over the LEDs, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to get to thqt part of it.

  4. Barry Rueger

    Meng Wanzhou

    Don't forget that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is still under house arrest in Vancouver while fighting a rather sketchy US arrest warrant.

    I recommend our local CBC outlet's excellent podcast Sanctioned: The Arrest of a Telecom Giant. Nine episodes to date, and more to come as the case progresses.

  5. martinusher Silver badge

    Nothing "controversial" about Huawei's 5G technology

    Apart from them holding about 2/3s of the patents needed to implement it, that is.

    The whole security/spying thing is BS, its an attempt to use politics to disrupt a commercial competitor. US companies enjoyed a virtual monopoly on 4G technology for years so they're naturally a bit peeved at being late to the 5G party.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing "controversial" about Huawei's 5G technology

      See the first comment and its subcomment thread.

  6. RobertLongshaft

    I suppose when you're bankrolled by the Chinese government who are violently oppressing the people of Honk Kong its all fine and dandy.

    Of course if you believe Chinese financial results you should probably buy your BMWs from there too.

    Clowns.

    1. IGotOut
      FAIL

      Have you actually seen the News? Considering what is happening, the police are pretty restrained.

      Lets see, lets take a riot in the USA shall we?

      Deaths

      63

      Injuries

      2,383

      Arrested

      12,111

      This doesn't say I agree with the actions of the police, but lets get some context shall we?

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this even about technology?

    The flip floppish reasoning from the US is that banning Huawei is a "security" issue.

    Other people have said that they think it is about the control of the latest technologies/markets (and therefore profits).

    I think that control of the markets is most likely (duh follow the profits), but also I think it is something more fundamental.

    Forget about the Chinese govt being involved and pretend that this is a US company and I bet that the same thing would happen. The reasoning behind this is how Huawei deals with its shares.

    --- Only people who work for the company can buy shares in it. ---

    This means that shareholders (aka the people who work at the company) don't benefit from over inflating their shares with stock buy backs, or paying a few people the majority of the money. Instead re-investing money back into the company and paying themselves (the average worker) a decent wage is most effect use of any profits. In terms of Huawei we see it in the advancement of their research and how far ahead they are in 5G and have even started working on 6G. For the average worker, they are a part of the growing Chinese middle class which the western companies are tripping over themselves to try to tap.

    Now if we look at one of the biggest US tech company Apple. Recently I think even the most ardent Apple fan would say that their innovation and quality has dropped compared to the Steve Job days. Maybe that is to do with them missing the Steve Jobs magic, or maybe its due to them using their money to buy back their own stocks which is great for all the people holding onto their 7 Apple shares, but not so great for the future of the company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this even about technology?

      "I think that control of the markets is most likely (duh follow the profits), but also I think it is something more fundamental."

      It's not - look at how Qualcomm have behaved in the past with their technology and the negative effect it has had on other US companies. Ignoring Huawei in this, I suspect there was an argument for intervention in the CDMA/2G/3G/4G technology space in the US

      The challenge that Huawei adds is that they are trying to play Qualcomm at its own game with patents and it has the potential to cause one or more of its competitors to walk away from the 5G infrastructure market leaving only Huawei/ZTE and one of Ericsson and Nokia in the game (Samsung will likely survive through usage in South Korea, the other bit players like NEC/NTT will likely have a similar part to play in Japan)

      And no, this isn't an issue with company structures - this is an issue about whether you let the best company dominate the market IF they are not an American company.

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