Trade compliance, cyber security, data and privacy protection, environmental protection, and anti-corruption and anti-bribery are all common topics of discussion. This is because these are the key areas we must get right in order to foster a fair business environment and maintain order throughout the business world. As far as companies are concerned, these issues must be addressed if they want to survive and thrive in the market.
We conduct business with integrity, observing international conventions and all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate. This is the cornerstone of operational compliance at Huawei, and has long been a core principle of our management team. With the guidance and oversight of top company executives, efforts to strengthen a culture of operational compliance are ongoing. We have set up dedicated compliance and oversight teams to further bolster the management and oversight of our global business operations. Through training and awareness programs, performance appraisals, and accountability management, we consistently reinforce awareness of laws and operational compliance among our employees at all levels.
We continuously enhance our compliance program in all our overseas subsidiaries. So far, we have drafted handbooks for ensuring compliance with local ICT laws and regulations after analyzing local legal requirements, as well as requirements raised by industry associations, in more than 100 countries where Huawei has a business presence. We are defining compliance responsibilities and selecting, training, and appointing compliance officers in all of our subsidiaries. We have also established oversight-oriented subsidiary boards, which manage and oversee the operational compliance of these subsidiaries. These measures have ensured that our subsidiaries' compliance work is in line with local legal requirements and the Group's compliance strategy.
In 2018, Huawei continued to strengthen its compliance in multiple business domains, including trade, cyber security, data and privacy protection, anti-corruption, and trade secret protection. By increasing investment in organization and resources, we continue to reinforce our compliance system to meet industry standards. We have worked and communicated openly and proactively with government agencies and passed governmental audits in Europe and Japan. We invited external consultants to review our compliance in key domains, and actively walked relevant stakeholders through all of our compliance initiatives to foster mutual understanding and trust. Through ongoing efforts to strengthen compliance and increase transparency, Huawei continues to win the respect and recognition of more governments and partners around the world.
Integrity is at the core of our operations, and we have zero tolerance for bribery or corruption. We have launched various programs to improve our anti-corruption and anti-bribery management system.
All Huawei employees and third parties who do business on behalf of Huawei are required to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries and regions in which we operate, as well as customers' anti-corruption and anti-bribery requirements. All employees must understand and sign the company's Business Conduct Guidelines (BCGs). We also share our anti-bribery requirements with our partners, requiring them to sign an Agreement on Honesty and Integrity. We have established complaint channels through which employees and other parties can report violations.
Ongoing Improvement of the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Management System
Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, as well as all relevant international conventions. Following the company's guiding principles, we make ongoing efforts to establish and improve our anti-corruption and anti-bribery processes and management system. We have also put in place anti-corruption and anti-bribery practices in 145 subsidiaries worldwide.
Based on these efforts, Huawei keeps improving its anti-corruption and anti-bribery management system to make it better suit our own business.
1. Culture of integrity and compliance: Huawei has adopted a series of initiatives to foster a culture of anti-corruption and anti-bribery. These initiatives include oaths taken by managers, anti-corruption and anti-bribery training programs for employees and partners, and disciplinary actions against violators. These initiatives aim to continue to increase awareness in this regard.
2. Compliance management: Huawei regularly conducts compliance audits to identify potential risks in all business scenarios, develops corresponding control measures, and oversees implementation. We review how our compliance management system works by checking risk control points. Based on the checking results, we take corrective measures to keep improving our anti-corruption and anti-bribery compliance management system.
3. External communications: We continually communicate with industry peers, consultants, partners, and NGOs about compliance, making clear our views on anti-corruption and anti-bribery. We ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of Huawei's compliance regulations and policies.
Huawei applies common international IPR rules and handles IPR affairs in accordance with international conventions. We adopt a proactive, friendly attitude to address IPR issues through various channels like cross-licensing and business partnerships. In addition, we invest in long-term R&D and continuously enrich our IPR portfolio. Huawei is one of the world's top owners of patents.
Huawei has one of the largest patent portfolios in the world
As of December 31, 2018
Total number of patents granted to Huawei
Patents granted in China 43,371
Patents granted outside of China 44,434
Huawei also strictly complies with applicable laws and regulations that protect trade secrets, and embeds requirements to protect trade secrets into our policies, instructions, and processes. We have proactively built a global system for tracking related legislation, actively communicated with judicial bodies, associations, law firms, and other such consulting firms through workshops and other formats, and endeavored to learn as much as we can from them. Through these actions, we have built up a complete trade secret protection system, and we are resolutely against any practices that infringe upon the trade secrets of others.