Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei is negotiating deals to manage the networks of telecom operators in the Middle East that would strengthen its already strong foothold in the region, Reuters reported. The company’s Middle Eastern unit is in talks to provide fixed-line network management services to Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Telecom and the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat, according to an e-mail from Xia Chaojie, Huawei’s vice president of delivery and services in the region. He said that Huawei was negotiating with others in the region, but they could not be named due to confidentiality agreements. Network maintenance is a US$1 billion industry in the region, according to Xia, of which Huawei already has a 55% market share. He expects that number to grow by 13% to 20% in the next two to three years. An increasing number of telecommunications companies in the Middle East are outsourcing network maintenance to third parties, cutting costs and allowing them to focus on marketing and customer service.