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Huawei muses on Nokia's future

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Growing its smartphone shipments by 94 percent from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 might not be enough to satisfy Huawei: it's reportedly floated the idea of acquiring Nokia.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the rising Chinese giant would consider buying the veteran Finnish mobile phone vendor, but isn't impressed at its reliance on the Windows Mobile platform.

Any acquisition would represent a change of direction for Huawei: its first decade was spent purely in its home market, and its international growth has been on the back of its own products rather than acquisition.

Speaking to the FT prior to the Ascend P6 launch in London, Huawei's Richard Yu said: “We are considering these sorts of acquisitions; maybe the combination has some synergies but depends on the willingness of Nokia. We are open-minded”.

At the same time, Yu was critical of the “weak” Windows mobile phone platform, adding that its license fee is a significant turn-off from Huawei's point of view.

While Nokia has deployed “do not comment on speculation” in response to the story, its share price rose on the rumours to close at $US3.86, up 4.6 percent in the day.

Having Huawei enter the world of share-shopping would certainly attract the attention of spooks in America and Australia at the very least. Australia blocked Huawei from bidding its kit into the country's National Broadband Network, while the US government believes both it and ZTE pose a security risk.

The UK joined in the security hysteria earlier this month, while the EU is more interested in whether the Chinese vendor is drawing on state subsidies at home to get a competitive edge abroad. ®

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