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Huawei Denies It Has Plan to List in US

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co. rejected a recent media report that it is seeking a public listing on the U.S. stock market.

A receptionist sits behind the counter at the Huawei office in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province.
A receptionist sits behind the counter at the Huawei office in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province.

A manager of the Shenzhen-based company said on October 7 that there were no IPO plans.

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 4 that Huawei "has reached out to investment banks for advice on issuing stock to the public." The report said the company is considering an IPO to improve its transparency and to strengthen its market status overseas.

But the company manager said Huawei was in contact with investment banks for other reasons, such as bond issuance in Hong Kong.

A senior Huawei executive said earlier that the company had no plan for a public listing partly due to its complicated shareholding structure. Its primary goal was to adjust its internal strategy within three to five years.

Company information shows that it is jointly held by more than 200 shareholders.

An executive at a foreign investment bank's Hong Kong branch said there were still many issues for Huawei to resolve if it wanted to prepare for an IPO, including its complicated employee stock ownership plan. In 2003, Huawei granted 3 billion worth of company shares to 80 percent of its employees.

An executive of a U.S. investment bank said his bank had not received any pitch or mandate from Huawei regarding a listing plan.

Huawei is the world's second-largest telecoms equipment supplier after Ericsson . But it has long faced market concerns over its opaque background. And speculation about its relationship with Chinese military has cast a shadow over attempts to win major contracts in United States and elsewhere.

Huawei's U.S. spokesman, William Plummer, said the company would consider a listing when it was necessary from a business perspective.

On October 8, a U.S. congressional panel said Huawei and counterpart ZTE posed a security threat to the United States because they "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence." The panel recommended that the two firms be barred from any mergers and acquisitions in the United States. The report was issued after an 11-month probe into the companies over national security concerns.

A company financial report said Huawei had 203 billion yuan in sales revenue in 2011, up 11 percent from the year before. Revenue from overseas markets was 135 billion yuan, up 14.9 percent year on year.

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