Huawei said to consider IPO

Dylan Bushell-Embling
08 Oct 2012
Daily News

Huawei is exploring the possibility of pursuing an initial public offering – potentially in the US – in a bid to become more transparent and assuage lawmakers' suspicions, according to multiple reports.

The Chinese vendor has been in communication with some investment banks over the possibility of an IPO, but management has not yet decided whether to proceed with the plan, Reuterssaid on Friday citing anonymous sources.

According to a separate report in the Wall Street Journal, these talks have revolved around which stock exchange to potentially list on, how to conduct the IPO and which disclosures would be needed to conform to regulations regarding public companies.

Huawei is said to be leaning towards a US listing, but also considering the Hong Kong and London stock exchanges.

Both reports state that Huawei has been considering the possibility of a float on and off for quite some time, reasoning that the vendor could ease the suspicions of lawmakers in the US and elsewhere by becoming as transparent as is required of a public company.

Huawei has already been excluded from several US public network contracts due to fears the company may have ties to the Chinese government, and so using the equipment may open US networks to cyberspying from China.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations, but has made little headway convincing US lawmakers despite all its lobbying.

The suspicions don't just threaten Huawei's business in the US market. In March, the company was also banned from tendering for projects for Australia's National Broadband Network, leaving analysts suggesting Australia implemented the ban due to its close diplomatic relationship with the US.

The timing of the reports is significant, as the US House Intelligence Committee will later today publish the results of a year-long probe into any security threats posed by the use of gear from Huawei and ZTE in US networks.

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