Huawei Exec Says WSJ Figure Of $75B In Aid 'Really Not Fair'

Chinese telecom giant Huawei came under fire Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that an in-depth review found the company benefited from $75 billion in state support.

Benzinga · 12/27/2019 19:33

Chinese telecom giant Huawei came under fire Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that an in-depth review found the company benefited from $75 billion in state support.

On Friday, Huawei USA chief security officer Andy Purdy was a guest on CNBC to talk about the report.

The WSJ Report

The WSJ found tens of billions of dollars worth of state support across grants, credit facilities, tax breaks and other forms of assistance. The help from the Chinese government may explain how the telecom company grew from a vendor of phone switches to become the world's largest telecom equipment company today.

Some of the specific figures uncovered by WSJ include $46 billion in loans, credit lines and other financial aid from state lenders. The company also saved up to $25 billion with tax breaks from 2008 to 2018, along with another $2 billion in land discounts, the newspaper said. 

Huawei told WSJ in a statement that its aid is "small and non-material" and much of the financial support is readily available to other companies.

Purdy: 'Really Not Fair'

Speaking as a guest on CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment Friday, Purdy said the same Wall Street Journal report shows Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) received around $45 billion in financial assistance.

The $75 billion in financial aid figure reported by WSJ is "drastically overstated," Purdy said. 

For example, part of the $46 billion in loans and similar financial aid were issued to Huawei's customers — and only a "tiny fraction" were used, he said.

It is "really not fair" to conclude that this is direct financial assistance from the government, he said.

In total, customers redeemed "less than $3 billion" to buy equipment, which is small compared to companywide sales of $175 billion, Purdy said. 

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