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Huawei says not discussed 5G chipsets with Apple: president

SHENZHEN (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, has not held talks with Apple Inc about to deliver 5G chipsets, Rotating Chairman Ken Hu said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of a displayed Huawei and 5G network logo in this illustration picture, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/dado Ruvic

Hu made the remark at the annual global analyst summit at its headquarters in Shenzhen in southern China. His comments come after the founder Ren Zhengfei told CNBC that Huawei was “open” to the sale of the fifth generation (5G) chips to Apple.

“We have not had discussions with Apple about this issue,” Hu said, reiterating that Huawei is not going to be a chipset vendor at this time. He also said that he looked forward to Apple’s competition in the 5G phone market.

Hu said Huawei had secured 40 commercial contracts to build 5G telecommunications infrastructure as at the end of March, from a previously recorded annotation of more than 30.

Huawei’s outlook has come under a cloud over the past year with the United States voicing concerns that the equipment may be used by the Chinese government for espionage. Washington has also pressed its allies in the ban of Huawei building 5G mobile networks.

Huawei has dismissed the security concerns as unfounded.

Huawei is also the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker. The in-house semiconductor arm, HiSilicon, also designs chipsets used in its products.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with CNBC this week that the company is “open” for the sale of its 5G modem chips to Apple, without elaboration.

His comments came after repeated denials from Huawei that it had any intention to put a chip supplier to compete against the likes of Qualcomm and Intel.

Huawei is in January launched its 5G modem Balong 5000, which it said is the industry’s most powerful, as well as a 5G base station chipset called Tiangang.

The company last month reported a 25 percent increase in net profit in 2018 to 59.3 billion yuan ($9 billion), even as revenue from its network equipment business fell 1.3 percent to 294 billion yuan by the telecommunications industry investment cycles.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree and Farah Master; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Aaron Sheldrick

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