Wednesday 21 August 2019

Huawei defies US sanctions as Chinese growth propels sales

Boost: Chairman Liang Hua at a news conference on the results at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen
Boost: Chairman Liang Hua at a news conference on the results at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen

Sijia Jiang and Brenda Goh

Chinese tech giant Huawei warned a US trade blacklisting will impact short-term revenue growth, even as its half-year revenue surged 23pc thanks to soaring smartphone sales at home.

In its first results since Washington placed it on a so-called 'entity list' in May that effectively banned US firms from supplying it, Huawei said it was focused on improving the global smartphone business, which bore the brunt of supply chain disruptions caused by the action.

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"Revenue grew fast up through May," Huawei chairman Liang Hua said. "Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the entity list. That's not to say we don't have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term."

The US government alleges the Chinese firm is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy, which Huawei has repeatedly denied. It has since been given a three-month reprieve until August 19, and US president Donald Trump signalled Washington would be relaxing the sanctions on it, though details are unknown.

Huawei's founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told reporters last month that the impact of the blacklisting was worse than expected. It could cost the company $30bn (€27bn) in revenue, and Huawei's revenue this year and in 2020 may stay roughly the same as 2018, at around $100bn, he said.

Mr Liang said yesterday that Huawei remained confident in its ability to cope with the blacklisting and its 5G product rollout had not been affected.

The company has won 11 5G contracts since the blacklist was put in place out of a total of 50 bagged so far, he said.

Analysts said strong domestic smartphone sales and new 5G carrier contracts were helping to offset the impact from the export ban that threatens to cut Huawei's access to advanced US components, and software such as Google Android apps.

Unlisted Huawei, which only started disclosing quarterly results this year, said revenue in the first half rose to 401.3bn yuan (€52.3bn), faster than the 15pc growth of a year earlier.

Shipments of its smartphones jumped 24pc to 118 million units, as robust sales in China more than offset a global sales drop.


Irish Independent

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