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Huawei to stay committed to Korean business despite uncertainties

Karl Song, Huawei’s vice president for corporate communications (Huawei Technologies)
Karl Song, Huawei’s vice president for corporate communications (Huawei Technologies)
Despite the global supply disruption due to a chip shortage and supply bottleneck, coupled with sanctions imposed by the United States, Huawei Technologies will continue to stay committed to its South Korean partners, executives of the Chinese tech giant in Seoul said Wednesday evening.

“While there are still many uncertainties on the road ahead of us, Huawei will remain open and collaborative,” Karl Song, the vice president of Huawei in charge of corporate communications, in a prerecorded speech during a press conference in Seoul.

“We will focus on strategy. We will achieve sustainable development. And we will create greater value for customers and communities in South Korea.”

According to Song, Huawei was seeking redress from the impact of US sanctions, which have affected its business involving semiconductors and smartphones.

In May 2019, the US Department of Commerce placed the company and its subsidiaries on a blacklist known as the “Entity List,” in line with a presidential executive order that effectively banned Huawei from the US communications network as a cybersecurity threat. The restrictions have been extended twice, including once under current President Joe Biden.

But the US sanctions have not dampened Huawei’s commitment to creating a 5.5-generation network with its industrial peers, to seeking low-carbon solutions and to nurturing digital talent, according to Song.

“Despite three years of US restrictions, we’ve come out the other side and become more united and motivated than ever,” Song said.

In the first three quarters of 2021, Huawei generated 455.8 billion yuan ($71.8 billion) in revenue, down 32 percent on-year. But its net profit margin reached 10.2 percent, slightly higher than last year.

Song’s speech came at the year-end event, which also recognized Huawei Korea’s 20th anniversary in 2022. Huawei Korea Chief Executive Officer Sun Luyuan pledged to create more jobs and nurture tech talents in Korea, calling for Korean academic circles’ cooperation and open mindset.

According to Huawei Korea, nearly 80 percent of its employees are Korean, thanks to increased hiring of local talents. Also, the Korean unit has supported some 3,000 people over the past three years through scholarships, contests and job-seeking advice, among other measures.

By Son Ji-hyoung (