Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (/ˈhwɑːˌweɪ/; simplified Chinese: 华为; traditional Chinese: 華為; pinyin: Huáwéi) is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer, headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. The company was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former People's Liberation Army officer. Initially focused on manufacturing phone switches, Huawei has since expanded its business to include building telecommunications networks, providing operational and consulting services and equipment to enterprises inside and outside of China, and manufacturing communications devices for the consumer market. Huawei had over 170,000 employees as of September 2017[update], around 76,000 of them engaged in Research & Development (R&D). It has 21 R&D institutes around the world. As of 2017[update] the company invested US$13.8 billion in R&D. Huawei has deployed its products and services in more than 170 countries, and as of 2011[update] it served 45 of the 50 largest telecom operators.[need quotation to verify] Its networks, numbering over 1,500, reaches one third of the world's population. Huawei overtook Ericsson in 2012 as the largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer in the world, and overtook Apple in 2018 as the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, behind Samsung Electronics. It ranks 72nd on the Fortune Global 500 list. In December 2018, Huawei reported that its annual revenue had risen to US$108.5 billion in 2018 (a 21% increase over 2017). Huawei is widely thought to be the leading 5G provider in the world. Although successful internationally, Huawei has faced difficulties in some markets, due to cybersecurity allegations — primarily from the United States government — that Huawei's infrastructure equipment contains backdoors that may enable surveillance by the Chinese government. Especially with the development of 5G wireless networks, there have been calls from the U.S. to prevent use of products by Huawei or fellow Chinese telecom ZTE by the U.S. or its allies. Huawei has argued that its products posed "no greater cybersecurity risk" than those of any other vendor, and that there is no evidence of the U.S. espionage claims. Nonetheless, Huawei pulled out of the U.S. consumer market in 2018, after these concerns affected the ability to market their consumer products there.
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