SHANGHAI, China — Huawei Technologies announced Tuesday that it has signed over 1,000 corporate 5G contracts, as the Chinese telecom equipment leader expands its network business to offset its shrinking smartphone business.
Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu said at the opening ceremony of MWC Shanghai, Asia’s largest mobile device trade show, that the company “incubates 5G applications with partners across a wide range of domains like manufacturing, health care, finance, and transportation.”
Huawei has experience building China’s 5G network as well as related operations.
“With these partners, Huawei is exploring how 5G can help different industries go digital more effectively,” Hu said, adding that the tech giant has sealed contracts with businesses across more than 20 industries.
The U.S. has been urging allies to bar Huawei from participating in their fifth-generation wireless infrastructure, citing national security concerns tied to the company’s communications equipment.
The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed tighter trade restrictions against Huawei in September, which undercut the company’s access to semiconductors and disrupting its smartphone. Huawei sold off its budget smartphone brand Honor in November.
Huawei continues making midrange and high-end smartphones, but it remains unclear whether the company will secure the parts necessary to keep up production. Huawei has notified suppliers that orders for components will drop by 60% this year, Nikkei reported Thursday.
On the other hand, 5G equipment uses fewer semiconductors than smartphones. Huawei says it has stockpiled enough components to sustain this business for the short term.