Huawei is making some of the biggest waves in the wireless industry right now. It's the world's No. 1 telecom supplier and No. 2 phone manufacturer. Despite this, it's a pariah in several countries, including the US, to the point that the FBI reportedly set up a sting at CES 2019.
Over the last few months, there's been an upswing in scrutiny of Huawei, with a number of countries banning the use of its networking equipment. That's why its phones are virtually invisible in the US despite its massive presence around the world.
The Chinese telecom giant may have run into its biggest trouble yet in 2019. Late January saw the US Justice Department unsealed indictments that included 23 counts pertaining to the alleged theft of intellectual property, obstruction of justice and fraud related to its alleged evasion of US sanctions against Iran.
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The core issue with Huawei has been concerns about its coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. It's the reason why the US banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment in 2012 and the company was added to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List on May 15, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Huawei from US communications networks.
In late June, Trump reportedly agreed to ease those restrictions as part of a deal to resume trade talks with China.
Huawei has long denied any wrongdoing and continues to maintain its innocence through the recent charges.
It can be tough to keep pace with the sheer number of headlines, so let's put what's happened in 2018 and 2019 in a handy timeline. We've put the 2019 events first, with 2018's below if you want to dive deeper.
Aug. 6: Huawei Twitter poll reveals its followers think it's owned by the Chinese government, but people on Facebook disagree.
Aug. 4: Huawei will reportedly release a cheap phone powered by its Hongmeng OS in late 2019.
July 31: Huawei beat iPhone with 17% global market share in 2019's second quarter, research firm said.
July 29: Huawei and Google were reportedly working on a smart speaker before ban.
July 26: Chinese authorities suspect FedEx illegally held back over 100 Huawei packages, report said.
July 25: Electronics company reportedly "seized" $100M of Huawei goods following US ban.
July 24: United Arab Emirates telecom says US ban on Huawei isn't an issue for its 5G network.
July 23: Huawei lays off more than 600 US workers due to blacklisting.
July 22: Leaked documents suggested that Huawei secretly helped build North Korea's wireless network. Also, the White House gathering tech execs for a meeting where Trump reportedly said Huawei licensing deals will be "timely."
July 19: Huawei says Hongmeng OS isn't designed as an Android replacement.
July 16: Bipartisan group of senators introduces 5G legislation that would keep Huawei blacklisted.
July 15: Canada may wait until after October elections to decide on Huawei ban, while the US will reportedly let Huawei sell to companies within weeks. Also, Huawei reportedly plans major layoffs at its US research labs.
July 9: US will allow licensed sales to Huawei, but it remains blacklisted.
July 7: Huawei CEO says its HongMeng OS alternative is 'likely' faster than Android, but needs its own app store.
July 4: US government tries to get Huawei lawsuit thrown out.
July 3: Huawei remains on Commerce Department's blacklist despite Trump's latest decision.
July 2: Huawei reportedly isn't sure about using Android in future phones.
July 1: Trump official says eased Huawei restrictions only apply to widely available products.
June 29: Trump decides to lift some restrictions on US companies selling to Huawei.
June 27: Huawei employees worked on Chinese military research projects, according to a report from Bloomberg.
June 24: Huawei says it'll increase its 5G investment in spite of US ban, while attorneys for its imprisoned CFO have asked for the US extradition request to be withdrawn. Also, an FCC commissioner wants Huawei gear out of US networks, and the Trump administration reportedly is thinking about requiring domestic 5G equipment to be made outside China.
June 21: Huawei unveils a trio of new Nova 5 phones in China as US tensions simmer, and its Mate X foldable phone will reportedly launch by September. The US also blacklists five more Chinese tech companies.
June 19: Huawei's CEO isn't worried about $30 billion revenue hit from US ban.
June 13: Chinese ambassador warns Britain that excluding Huawei from 5G sends a "bad signal."
June 7: Facebook stops letting Huawei preinstall its apps, and Google reportedly warns the Trump administration that its Huawei ban creates a national security risk. Also, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's extradition hearing is set for January 2020.
June 5: Huawei chairman says company would sign a "no-spy" deal with US.
June 4: Huawei trade secrets trial reportedly kicks off in Texas.
June 3: Science publisher IEEE reverses its week-old ban on Huawei scientists reviewing technical papers.
June 2: Huawei reportedly strips back production of phones amid US crackdown.
May 29: Huawei asks court to rule US ban unconstitutional.
May 28: Huawei reportedly plans to bring OS to China later this year, internationally in 2020.
May 26: Ren Zhengfei, Huawei's founder, says he'd "be the first to protest" if China retaliated against Apple.
May 23: US reportedly accuses Huawei of lying about Chinese ties.
May 21: Huawei reportedly wants its app store to compete with Google's.
May 19: Google cuts off Huawei phones from future Android updates.
May 16: Huawei says US ban will 'significantly harm' American jobs and companies.
May 8: 5G rollout may face a delay in UK over Huawei investigations.
May 3: Countries draft 5G security proposals as the US warns again of Huawei's threat.
May 2: A Huawei leak prompts the sacking of UK defense minister Gavin Williamson.
April 30: Vodafone found hidden backdoors in Huawei equipment, according to a report.
April 21: The CIA reportedly says Huawei is funded by Chinese state security.
April 11: Google and Huawei will pay Nexus 6P owners for bootloop issues in class-action lawsuit.
April 9: The US reportedly no longer demands a Huawei ban in Germany.
April 8: Huawei is "open" to selling its 5G chips to Apple, says report.
March 29, 2019: Huawei slams US for having "a loser's attitude" because its tech can't compete.
March 28, 2019: British watchdog warns that Huawei products represent "significantly increased risk."
March 26, 2019: Huawei launches the P30 and P30 Pro in Paris.
March 19, 2019: Angela Merkel pushes back against US pressure to bar Huawei from Germany's 5G rollout.
March 15, 2019: Huawei's CFO wanted to quit before arrest, according to the company's founder.
March 14, 2019: Huawei is developing its own OS in case it can't use Android or Windows, report says.
March 8, 2019: Huawei sues the US government over its equipment ban.
March 5, 2019: Huawei reportedly calls for international cybersecurity standards.