Huawei Licenses 5G Patents to Oppo, Samsung as Revenue Dwindles

Huawei has signed a licensing deal for key technologies with rival smartphone maker Oppo as U.S. sanctions continue to tank the Chinese tech and telecom giant’s business — reports Nikkei Asia.

A series of trade sanctions have left Huawei unable to manufacture advanced smartphones with 5G capabilities and cut the company off from some of the largest markets for telecom equipment, sending its revenue into a nosedive.

In hopes of boosting revenue, the company is looking to grow its intellectual property rights business. The licensing deal with Oppo is Huawei’s biggest to date and covers patented 5G, Wi-Fi, and audio/video technologies.

“Huawei has developed multiple high-value patent portfolios in the global marketplace in domains like 5G, Wi-Fi, and audio and video codecs,” said Alan Fan, head of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Department, in a press briefing.

“This will enable our industry to keep innovating and provide consumers with more competitive products and services.”

Oppo, meanwhile, said the deal will give it access to Huawei’s most advanced 5G technologies. The two companies have reached a cross-licensing agreement, so Huawei will also be able to use some of Oppo’s patents. “It’s a win-win for both sides,” said Adler Feng, chief intellectual property officer at Oppo.

Huawei on Friday also announced that it has extended similar existing deals for 5G-related patents with South Korean smartphone giant Samsung. What’s more, the company said that Samsung is its biggest licensee among foreign companies by the number of devices sold and the patents covered.

Huawei once dwarfed Apple in smartphone market share in China. However, the local tech conglomerate has since been curb stomped by sanctions that restricted its access to U.S. technology and American suppliers, propelling Apple to the top.

Huawei is seeking other income streams to replace the revenue it has lost in recent years. While it may not be able to use many of them, Huawei still owns some of the largest patent portfolios in the world.

In 2021, Huawei ranked No.1 at the China National Intellectual Property Administration and No. 5 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in terms of the total number of patents granted. As of the end of 2021, nearly 55% of Huawei’s employees (107,000 individuals) were working in research and development.

The company brought in $1.2-1.3 billion USD in revenue from its patent licensing business from 2019 to 2021, and it hopes to raise those numbers.

P.S. Help support us and independent media here: Buy us a beer, Buy us a coffee, or use our Amazon link to shop.