China's Huawei to sell undersea cable business

Huawei is selling its majority stake in an undersea cable business amid pressure from the US government - AP
Huawei is selling its majority stake in an undersea cable business amid pressure from the US government - AP

Huaweiis poised to sell its majority stake in a submarine cable company, amid pressure from the US to blacklist the company over spying fears.

The Chinesecompany, the world's biggest telecom equipment manufacturer, is to sell its 51pc stake in Huawei Marine Networks, which was set up as a joint venture with UK company Global Marine Systems in 2008, for an undisclosed sum.

The company, which builds many of the undersea cables that provide some of the basic infrastructure of the internet, is the first major asset sale since its the US began targeting Huawei.

It comes as Huawei has been scrambling to limit the impact of a growing US assault against the privately held Chinese company, which the US has accused of links to China's military. Huawei denies the allegations.

According to Huawei Marine Network’s website, the company has been involved in 90 subsea cable projects stretching a total of over 50,361km.

One of these projects is a 9,000-mile cable linking South Africa with the UK, built initially by former telecoms firm Alcatel-Lucent and upgraded by Huawei Marine in 2015.

The buyer, Chinese optic cable company Hengtong Optic-Electric, announced the change of ownership on a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Monday.

Huawei, which is at the centre of a trade war between the US and China, was given a boost this week when the world’s largest association of technology professionals dropped a recent ban preventing employees from accessing cutting edge research.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) made a statement after the US government put Huawei on an “Entity List”, effectively stopping US companies from selling it technology.

China has also threatened to put American companies and individuals on a blacklist if they stopped supplying their Chinese partners.

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