Huawei doesn’t leap to mind as an innovative company. In the US, the Chinese telecom giant is best known for the government’s national security concerns—and allegations that it stole intellectual property from companies like Cisco and Motorola.
Yet Huawei was the fifth-biggest research and development spender in the world in 2017, according to a European Union report. Its €11.3 billion ($12.9 billion) R&D spend that year outpaced Intel (€10.9 billion), Apple (€9.7 billion), and Nokia (€4.9 billion). Huawei claims its investments over the years have paid off in the form of 87,805 patents—11,152 of which were granted in the US.