Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Chinese tech giant Huawei is recruiting smartphone partners that would license Huawei design and have access to latest components, as a way to circumvent US sanctions that have been imposed on the company for more than 2 years.
Bloombergs report mentions two companies that might cooperate with Huawei. First one is Xnova, a unit of state-owned China Postal and Telecommunications Appliances company that is already selling Huawei branded Nova phones on its webshop. The second company is where things get more interesting. The second company is called TD Tech Ltd and is a telecom equipment maker. Earlier this month, TD Tech released a phone called TD Tech N8 Pro, that was identical to Huawei Nova 8 Pro. Just days after the smartphone was released, it was abruptly pulled from sales.
Suomimobilli.fi broke this news earlier this month after documents where revealed of TD Tech having plans for a portfolio of Huawei-like products. The site also discovered that TD Tech is a company founded in 2005 and owned by TD Tech Holding Limited, in which the Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia has a 51% ownership (can be seen from Nokia’s financial report), while 49% of the TD Tech Holding is owned by Huawei. This company has been founded long before the events of US sanctions, Huawei’s rise to a top smartphone marker or Nokia’s downfall. TD Tech employs over 2000 people and is primarily focused on the networking segment, while also selling body cams to Chinese companies.
In a press statement to Suomimobiili.fi, that was inquired by the Finnish site after TD Tech released a Huawei-like phone and international media started connecting Huawei and raising the question of circumventing sanctions, Nokia stated that TD Tech operates independently and that the company doesn’t have access to Nokia’s operations or supply chain. Suomimobiili further speculates that the pulling of TD Tech N8 Pro from sales just days after release might be an intervention by Finnish Nokia, not to put the company in a legal jeopardy, considering how loosely the act breaking of US sanctions is defined.
Huawei didn’t comment on this news – neither to Bloomberg, nor to Suomimobiili.