BlackBerry may be selling, but Huawei says it’s not buying

Ren Zhengfei

Back in June, Huawei chairman Richard Yu told the Financial Times he was interested in making acquisitions in the mobile industry, and was linked with buying out Nokia. Eventually, after much speculation, Huawei had to issue a statement saying it had no plans to make a bid for the Finnish firm.

Of course, it can do nothing of the sort now even if it wanted to, so speculators have found a new plaything for Huawei: BlackBerry. This time, the apparent target of Huawei’s affections is at least officially on the market, having recently announced it was considering all possibilities to help it survive. 

The Wall Street Journal then ran a story that CEO Thorsten Heins had already held early talks with several potential suitors, and that at least one was based in Asia. Naturally, everyone looked in Huawei’s direction. However, once again, it appears our assumption was wrong.

A member of Huawei’s board of directors has told Reuters the company has not even considered acquiring BlackBerry. He goes on to say, “We want to rely on ourselves,” which suggests it’s not interested in any companies, not just BlackBerry. While this is commendable, the decision to go it alone may have been forced on Huawei. 

Huawei’s relationship with Canada is complicated. It sells smartphones there – local carrier Wind has just launched the Ascend Mate for example – and has an agreement with Telus and Bell, but it has been barred from supplying government networks, and is facing further restrictions on equipment sales.

As far as the BlackBerry sale goes, Canada’s Minister of Industry James Moore, said in an interview the government was, “keeping a close eye,” on the negotiations, but didn’t comment on the security implications of any bids from international firms. Did Huawei chat with BlackBerry, and discover any attempt to buy it would run into problems? BlackBerry says it wants to sell by November, but it looks like it won’t be Huawei doing the buying.