Huawei is the world’s No. 1 telecom supplier and No. 2 phone manufacturer, but it’s a pariah in countries like the US. For more than a year, there’s been no shortage of scrutiny on the Chinese telecom giant, and a number of countries have banned the use of its networking equipment. Its phones are virtually invisible in the US despite its massive presence around the world.
The company’s chairman predicted that 2020 will be “difficult” for Huawei, and the early going seems to bear that out — the US is continuing to pressure allies to block Huawei from their next-generation 5G wireless networks. Despite this, January saw UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving the company approval to build non-core parts of the country’s 5G infrastructure, setting an important precedent as the wireless tech becomes increasingly mainstream.