Just a couple of months back, Huawei was reportedly planning to sell its 51% shares in the undersea telecommunications cable business dubbed Huawei Marine. But, now a new report claims that the Chinese telecom giant is interested in building the first undersea fiber-optic cable between South America and Asia.
David Dou Yong, Huawei’s chief executive in Chile, told Reuters the company was eagerly following the public tender process initiated by Chile in July and would participate when bids were invited for the trans-Pacific construction. As he said in a recent interview;
“Huawei will be very actively participating in this business opportunity. This bidding process has several steps … We are ready and we will follow the process until the bid to select a vendor to implement it starts and for sure we will be part of the tender process.“
Meanwhile, Huawei’s move of selling 51% shares in this business represents Huawei’s first major asset sale since the United States accused the Chinese firm of espionage, raising doubts about Huawei’s potential interests around the world including the undersea cable construction projects.
Asked for clarification about the reported sale of the submarine cable business and its implications, the company’s head of public affairs, Weiqiang Zou, said the deal is not confirmed and that no final decision has been made as of yet.
Dou Yong told Reuters there are no agreements in place with the government yet but that Huawei will keep pressing for state business. “We look at Chile as the benchmark for the whole of Latin America,” he said.
As observed in Huawei’s annual report, on August 2018 the tech giant obtained majority voting rights on Huawei Marine’s board, with Global Marine keeping a 49% non-controlling interest. Huawei Marine has contributed revenue of around 394 million yuan ($57.10 million) and registered a net profit of 115 million yuan in 2018.
Meanwhile, senior Huawei executives have held dozens of meetings with city mayors and government ministers and officials from the Chilean police, its central bank, its tax authority, its army, the state development agency and the ministries of mining, health, economy, transport, energy and interior to lobby for cloud computing and facial recognition software technology.