HUAWEI Licences 5G Tech To OPPO Samsung Despite U.S. Sanctions

As part of its strategy to counteract the United States’ assault on its tech ambitions, HUAWEI Technologies has licenced critical technologies to smartphone competitor OPPO, according to Nikkei Asia’s reports.

HUAWEI said that the patent licencing deal with OPPO, which is the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker based on shipments, is the largest one it has ever made with a Chinese company. It incorporates 5G, Wi-Fi, audio, and video technologies.

HUAWEI also said for the first time on Friday that it has licenced key 5G technologies to Samsung Electronics, which makes the most smartphones in the world, and that these deals have been gradually expanded. Recently, the US FCC banned equipment from HUAWEI, ZTE and more Chinese companies.

After U.S. sanctions hampered its main smartphone and telecom equipment manufacturing businesses, HUAWEI has endeavored to increase revenue from intellectual licensing. HUAWEI was the first business to produce 5G integrated chipsets, for instance, but it was forced to forsake that area of development after the United States severely restricted its access to U.S. technology, including its top chip making suppliers.

The corporation may now only purchase downgraded 4G mobile chipsets from Qualcomm of the United States, but it still has a robust portfolio of 5G patents. HUAWEI also stated that it has 20 patent cross-licensing agreements with both domestic and international firms. In terms of both device sales and patent coverage, HUAWEI’s largest foreign licensee is Samsung, whereas its most significant domestic licensee is OPPO.

HUAWEI has not disclosed individual deal values, but has stated that patent licencing revenue ranged from $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion from 2019 to 2021 and was growing. HUAWEI ranked No. 1 in the China National Intellectual Property Administration and the European Patent Office in 2021 and No. 5 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

HUAWEI reportedly remains committed to long-term investments in R&D and intellectual property. HUAWEI will have 107,000 R&D workers by 2021, or 55% of its workforce.

Commenting in a press briefing, Alan Fan, Head of HUAWEI’s Intellectual Property Department, said:

Huawei has developed multiple high-value patent portfolios in the global marketplace in domains like 5G, Wi-Fi, and audio and video codecs. This will enable our industry to keep innovating and provide consumers with more competitive products and services.

Commenting on the deal, Adler Feng, OPPO’s Chief Intellectual Property Officer, said:

The license deal will give it access to HUAWEI’s most advanced 5G-related technologies, while Huawei will be able to use some of Oppo’s patents. It’s a win-win for both sides.