Huawei shipped nearly 7 million 5G phones last year, despite US opposition

The Chinese company highlights the success of its next-generation wireless tech, even as the US pushes back.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
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Sean Keane
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Huawei shipped nearly 7 million 5G phones, like the Mate 30 Pro, in 2019.

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Huawei said Wednesday it shipped 6.9 million 5G phones in 2019, despite US efforts to stop the controversial Chinese phone maker from dominating the next-generation wireless networking market. 

Last year, Huawei launched eight 5G phone models: the Mate 30 Pro 5G, the Mate 30 5G, the Porsche Design Mate 30 Pro RS edition, the Mate 20 X 5G, the Nova 6 5G, the Mate X, the Honor V30 Pro and the Honor V30.

The US Commerce Department blacklisted Huawei in May, following an executive order from President Donald Trump that effectively banned the company from US communications networks. National security officials fear that equipment and devices from Huawei could be used to spy for China -- a charge Huawei has repeatedly denied.

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As a result of the blacklisting, Huawei has been forced to use an open-source version of Google's Android operating system on phones like the Mate 30.

In December, the company noted that it shipped 240 million phones in 2019. If you've never seen one, that's because Huawei phones are virtually invisible in the US. Despite this, Huawei is the world's second largest phone maker (behind Samsung).

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Huawei also touted its 5G infrastructure equipment in its Wednesday statement. This is a source of concern for US politicians, to the point where a bipartisan group of US senators on Tuesday introduced legislation to subsidize companies developing "trusted and secure" 5G gear.

The US is concerned about Huawei's global influence too. US officials on Monday tried to persuade British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to exclude Huawei from the UK's 5G networks.