China's Huawei reports 19% jump in sales

Huawei smartphone on display Huawei has diversified into fast-growing sectors like smartphone manufacturing

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Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has reported a 19% jump in sales to 135.8bn yuan ($21.9bn; £12.8bn) for the first six months of the year.

It said it expects to make an operating profit margin of 18.3% for the period.

Huawei has traditionally concentrated on making telecoms network equipment, but has benefited by diversifying into fast-growing sectors such as smartphone manufacturing.

It is now one of the world's largest smartphone makers.

Cathy Meng, the firm's chief financial officer, said the firm "achieved quality and sustainable growth in our consumer business thanks to the increase of brand awareness and smart devices sales worldwide".

According to research firm IDC, Huawei shipped 13.7 million smartphones in the first three months of this year - making it the third-biggest smartphone vendor in the world.

Huawei did not give a breakdown of its latest sales numbers.

Continued growth

Huawei has also been looking to tap into the market for wearable technology and introduced its hybrid Talkband smart device earlier this year.

Furthermore, China's investment in fourth-generation mobile network technology has led to a steady stream of revenue for the firm.

"Driven by increasing investments in LTE networks worldwide, Huawei has further solidified its leadership position in mobile broadband," Ms Meng said in the statement.

The firm's growth comes despite it coming under scrutiny in key markets in recent years.

In 2012, US politicians claimed that the company posed a security threat because of its alleged links to China's government and military.

The concerns over its association with the Chinese authorities have been driven in part, by the fact that the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei, was a former member of the People's Liberation Army.

However, Huawei has repeatedly denied those claims and has stressed that it is 100%-owned by its employees and founder.

Earlier this year, a report in the New York Times alleged that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had infiltrated Huawei's servers.

In response, China has demanded a clear explanation from the US government.

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