Huawei Defies US Sanction Woes at MWC 2023

Huawei’s supersized presence at the show is a sign of defiance, said John Strand, a Danish telecom industry consultant. Now that China’s zero tolerance pandemic lockdowns seem to have been eased, Chinese companies are showing their eagerness to get back out in the world and to do business. All this despite US and European sanctions that have left a sore mark on the Chinese economy, tarred relationships in politics and trade, and hurt Huawei directly.

The AP is reporting that nowhere is this more apparent than at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), the CES of mobile technology. Huawei, which has been singled out aggressively for providing telecoms technologies that were considered as potentially giving the government in Beijing power to disrupt and snoop on critical communications infrastructure.

At MWC 2023, Lin Peng, President of Huawei Carrier BG, delivered a keynote extolling cooperation and partnership by the industry to accelerate 5G adoption. The company is occupying an entire hall at the Fira Gran Via Barcelona, and is treating sanctions and restrictions by the US as the new normal. Which is kind of like saying, Is that all you got? Rocky does it all the time and he works out just fine for him.

Huawei’s Hall 1 exhibition booth at MWC 2023 in Barcelona (Source: Huawei)

The thing is, no matter what you may think about sanctions, they need to be unanimously adopted worldwide in order to have a deleterious impact on their targets. The sanctions on Chinese companies are not that prevalent, for example, Huawei has expanded its footprint in Africa. The company is now signaling that it can find a way to coexist with sanctions and grow, and that’s going to be make some American and European companies rethink their approaches, and try to find ways to do business with Huawei because, it’s a downturn, people are scraping for business growth.

At the heart of the push to accelerate 5G adoption is going to be apps that can really take advantage of services. That means XR, AR (check out Huawei’s smart glasses, too), 4K video, 360 degree UHD live streaming, wearables, and enhanced gaming. Huawei is going to be pushing all of these opportunities in its evangelism of 5G networks, just like the PC companies push gaming content to suck up all their CPU and GPU power. In a sponsored post on its site, Huawei has an article by Omdia that sees AR and XR as the next generation of wearable devices, a driver of app innovation, and consumer monetization of rich 5G services. So, now you know why it’s worth keeping an eye on the telecoms business, and why Huawei is probably doing just fine, despite all the geopolitical pressures around it. No one is going to stop progress, and there’s way too much invested in 5G to stop the demand for more video, more AR, and more XR.