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Huawei mulls initial public offering, report says

The company has so far only reached out to investment banks to see what it would take to bring its shares public.

Huawei, the embattled Chinese mobile company looking to expand its footprint internationally, is now eyeing an initial public offering, according to a new report.

Huawei has contacted investment banks to learn more about the process that would eventually take its shares public, The Wall Street Journal is reporting today, citing sources. The company isn't sure yet where it might list its stock and doesn't know how that process might go, according to the Journal's sources.

Over the last several months, Huawei, which derives much of its business activity from telecommunications equipment, has come under fire in the U.S. and Australia as it tries to expand its services to those countries. Lawmakers in the U.S. are concerned that if the use of Huawei's networking equipment is allowed, it could share the data it collects with the Chinese government.

"How will you deal with your Chinese government if they order you to give information about your customers in the United States?" C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, asked Huawei Senior Vice President Charles Ding during a hearing last month. He was followed by several others who fretted about the company's ties with the government in Beijing.

For its part, Huawei has said that it has not and would never spy for the Chinese government, adding that it would never have the "intent to steal any national intelligence, enterprise secrets, or breach personal privacy."

Whether Huawei will now push forward with an IPO remains to be seen. According to the Journal's sources, the company has considered the move in the past, but decided against it.

CNET has contacted Huawei for comment on the Journal's report. We will update this story when we have more information.