Rise of Huawei - from balloon sale to telco giant

How a discharged army engineering officer built a conglomerate out of practically nothing

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Huawei Technologies is known today for its sleek smartphones packing futuristic hardware, and the company recently eclipsed Apple to become the second-largest smartphone maker in the world.

From its humble roots as a seven-man operation, the firm now has 180,000 employees across 170 countries and regions. Last year, Huawei broke US$100 billion (S$135 billion) in revenue for the first time with year-on-year growth of over 20 per cent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 27, 2019, with the headline Rise of Huawei - from balloon sale to telco giant. Subscribe