Huawei Talking to Lucent, Nortel

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. executives say they have been pursuing deals with large North American partners, according to a report in the Chinese press this morning.

The China Daily, a Beijing-based daily newspaper that is published by London's Financial Times, quoted a Huawei executive as saying the company has already spoken with Lucent and Nortel, and wants a partnership in North America.

"We are talking with telecom equipment makers such as Lucent and Nortel Networks this year to further our partnerships so as to better position ourselves," Zheng Baoyong, executive vice president of Huawei, says in China Daily.

Huawei officials could not be reached for comment. Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) had not returned inquiries at press time.

A Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) spokesperson says the company "does not comment on rumors and speculation."

According to China Daily, Zheng sees North America and Europe as areas that are ripe for growth, and Huawei believes that partnerships are the way to go in those regions. He says the company plans to double sales in those regions during the coming years.

Huawei has been making moves of its own in recent months, expanding in North America. It has about 24,000 workers in 55 offices worldwide. In the U.S., the company says there are roughly 60 people working at its Futurewei subsidiary in Richardson, Texas, with about 80 workers at additional offices in Santa Clara and San Diego, Calif. Huawei says about 60 percent of its employees in the U.S. are local hires.

In 2004, the company reported sales of $5.58 billion, up from sales of $3.83 billion in 2003.

— The Staff, Light Reading

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