updated 11:59 pm EDT, Tue April 23, 2013
New $10 billion by 2017 estimate may still be too optimistic
Citing a new "deeper understanding of the market," telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei has cut its previous estimate of $15 billion in annual sales by 2017 to $10 billion. As part of the reduction of expectations, Huawei CEO Eric Xu said that "we are not interested in the U.S. market anymore" in response to questions about the US House Intelligence Committee report calling the state-supported manufacturer a threat to US national security.
"If we can achieve $10 billion sales by 2017, that will be good enough for me," Xu told an analyst conference in Shenzhen, China. The enterprise unit Xu wants to see the $10 billion from contributed five percent to the company's total revenue in 2012, from sales of network gear to enterprise. Company coffers were boosted by $1.9 billion from the enterprise unit in 2012.
Xu believes that Huawei's IT business providing hardware and services to enterprise and telecom will generate between $800 million and $1 billion this year. No mention was made of the company's consumer group, which still sells handsets and tablets to home and small business worldwide.
Huawei has been suspected and investigated on claims that its products have "backdoors" that Chinese authorities can use to analyze data. US companies in business transactions with Huawei should "find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers' privacy, and you care about the national security of the United States of America," US Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) told CBS News's 60 Minutes in October.
Executives from Huawei denied the allegations from the intelligence committee hearing, claiming to not be controlled by the Chinese government despite having been founded by an ex-Chinese army officer. Former US government foreign technology analyst Jim Lewis was asked if Huawei were ordered by the Chinese government to spy on the US, and he answered that said "the state tells them what to do and they do it."