Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment maker, has expressed that it still can be the number 1 player in the market even without Google’s help.
The CEO and founder, Ren Zhengfei said he believes his company can become the world’s top smartphone brand, even if it remains cut off from Google’s software and apps.
Huawei was close to overtaking Samsung in number 1 race
The Shenzhen, China-based Telecom giant is already the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and was about to overtake Samsung as the No. 1 seller of smartphones this year, before finding its name in the US trade blacklist.
The trade restrictions meant that US companies like Microsoft, Google, Intel are barred selling any products or services to Huawei unless they obtain a government license to do so.
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Huawei overseas market shrinks
Now, Huawei’s overseas market share is dwindling, as customers outside of China become wary of buying a phone that may not have access to the Google Play Store and popular apps like Facebook, and many other Google apps.
However, answering a question from CNN Business, the CEO sounded confident and said that Huawei can still become the world’s No. 1 smartphone brand even without Google.
“I don’t think that would be a problem,” quoted Ren.
Is Harmony, Huawei backup plan
Huawei has said repeatedly that it would prefer to work with Google if possible. But it is working on a “large scale” backup plan, Ren said.
Huawei has been making its own OS, called Harmony, as well as an app store. However, currently, Huawei has just 45,000 apps available for download compared to about 2.8 million in the Google Play Store.
Ren expressed that the US continues to be the most powerful country when it comes to innovation, and no one including China can overtake the country for “decades to come.” However, he suggested that restrictions may give way to the rise of competitors.
If Huawei can’t work with US suppliers, “we will have to resort to alternatives. If those alternatives become mature, I think it’ll become less likely to switch back to previous versions,” Ren said.
Increased Revenue despite setbacks
Huawei’s business has proven broadly resilient this year, despite the trade blacklist. When the company reported earnings last month, it said revenue increased 24% in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. Soaring smartphone sales in China helped.