Huawei Marine ‘hasn’t Bid’ on Chile’s Trans-pacific Cable Project
By Chen Qingqing, Global Times
July 17, 2019
Huawei Marine, the submarine cable business of the tech giant, said it has not offered any bid for the feasibility study of Chile’s proposed trans-Pacific project connecting South America with Asia, a decision that analysts said reflects the Chinese company’s intention to play down its presence in Latin America.
There is no trans-Pacific cable between Asia and Latin America, and all current submarine cables connecting these two regions are transferred from the US. As a result, the Chilean government has proposed the first submarine fiber-optic cable that would directly connect South America and Asia, Huawei Marine Networks Co said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
“Although the government has opening bids for a feasibility study, it has not started any concrete delivery or bidding process, and Huawei Marine has not participated in any concrete bidding for a feasibility study,” the company said.
Chile on Friday took steps to move forward in building the cable, which has aroused the interest of Huawei and Japan’s NEC, Reuters reported.
The report said that Huawei and NEC submitted pre-feasibility studies for the cable in 2017, assessing potential routes across the Pacific Ocean.
The company has been shrinking some non-core businesses in a strategic way to counter external pressure, which might have led it to drop its plan for the cable project, Jiang Junmu, the chief writer at telecom industry news website c114.com.cn, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
“Since Latin America is always considered as the US’ backyard, Huawei is likely to play down some business that might have aroused controversy,” he said.
Under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, China and Chile have agreed on enhancing infrastructure cooperation including building a trans-Pacific fiber-optic cable to enhance data and voice transmission between Asia and South America, according to media reports.