It’s one of the greatest technology “startup” success stories of the personal computer and smartphone eras. Yet, despite selling 59 million smartphones and netting $27 billion in revenue last quarter in its first-ever public earnings report this morning, a strange and tantalizing question shrouds the world’s number two handset manufacturer behind Samsung.
Who owns Huawei?
To hear the company tell it, it’s 100% employee-owned. In a statement circulated last week, it said that “Huawei is a private company wholly owned by its employees. No government agency or outside organization holds shares in Huawei or has any control over Huawei.”
That’s a simple statement, but oh is it so much more complicated.
As with all things related to Huawei, which outside of its 5G archrival Qualcomm is probably the tech company most entrenched in geopolitics today, the story is never as simple as it appears at first glance.