Huawei’s Undersea Cable Project Moves Forward in SE Asia

Huawei is in talks with the government of Cambodia, in order to push forward a cable project connecting Sihanoukville and Hong Kong.By Chen Qingqing, Global Times
June 20, 2019

Despite security concerns raised by the US and its major allies regarding Huawei's undersea cable projects, the Chinese company is welcomed by Southeast Asian countries and it will continue to move forward in its undersea cable business, which will help boost the local ICT industry.

Huawei's representatives in Cambodia have recently had talks with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, hoping to push forward an undersea cable project connecting Sihanoukville and Hong Kong.

However, Huawei is still undecided about launching the project as it is seeking more funding in the local market, a Huawei local PR representative told the Global Times on Thursday. If things go smoothly, it will be another major undersea project that Huawei obtains in Southeast Asia after the Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand cable project unveiled in 2015, which helped local carriers to realize wider international network coverage.

“This project will help enhance connection between Cambodia and the Chinese mainland, which will also help the Southeast Asian country become an ICT hub and accelerate its digital economy,” the representative said.

The Chinese company is reportedly selling its stakes of the undersea cable business amid rising suspicions about the security of its network and equipment. However, Ren Zhengfei, founder of the company, rebutted this claim.

“Huawei's subsea cable business is very successful. We're selling it not because of the recent crackdown, but because we consider that it is not closely related to our main core business,” he told a panel discussion in the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, on Monday.

Huawei's representative in Cambodia said the possible divestment will not have an impact on potential projects in the region.

Huawei Marine – Huawei's subsidiary that conducts subsea network construction – has 90 projects both ongoing and completed, with a total length of 50,361 kilometers, mainly in Southeast Asia and Africa, according to its official website.

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