Huawei agrees to develop 5G in Russia

It'll work on next-generation cellular networks with telecom MTS.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin applaud as Huawei Chairman Guo Ping and MTS boss Alexei Kornya agree to develop 5G in Russia.

Maxim Shipenkov / AFP/ Getty Images

Huawei's inked a deal to help with Russia's 5G network.

The embattled Chinese telecom will work with Russian counterpart MTS to develop the country's next-generation cellular network over the next year.

Huawei Chairman Guo Ping and MTS boss Alexei Kornya signed the agreement in the Kremlin on Wednesday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping watching.

"We both add momentum to strategic cooperation between the two companies in high tech, thus building a foundation for commercial 5G rollouts in Russia in the nearest future," Kornya said in an emailed statement.

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Guo highlighted that Huawei's more than 16,000 5G-related patents make it "number one worldwide."

"We hope that our joined efforts will help Russia enter the 5G era sooner," he said.

It came as the Chinese president kicked off a three-day visit to Russia, the BBC noted, and as Huawei faces serious pressure from Western countries.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively banning Huawei from US communications networks last month, stopping the company from doing business with US companies based on national security concerns over Huawei's close ties with the Chinese government.

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Huawei has long denied such links, and its chairman said this week the company is willing to sign a "no-spy agreement" with the US. The company's founder previously suggested there were plenty of business opportunities outside the US.

"If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine," Ren Zhengfei said in February. "And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn't represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world."

First published at 3:54 a.m. PT.
Updated at 4:28 a.m. PT: Adds more detail, statements from Huawei and MTS.