China’s Huawei says expects revenue up almost nine percent in 2023

Chinese tech giant Huawei said Friday it “weathered the storm” of US sanctions as it announced a rise of almost nine percent in revenues in 2023, a year that saw it shock Washington with the release of a high-end smartphone.

The Shenzhen-based giant has been at the centre of an intense standoff between China and the United States, with Washington warning its equipment could be used for state espionage, an allegation the company denies.

Sanctions since 2019 have cut the firm off from access to US-made components and technologies, forcing it to diversify its growth sources.

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“After years of hard work, we managed to weather the storm,” rotating chairman Ken Hu said in New Year’s remarks released Friday.

In 2023, the group expected revenues of more than 700 billion yuan ($99.2 billion), Hu said — an increase of nearly nine percent from last year.

But the revenue remains much lower than the 891.4 billion yuan it earned in 2020, the year before the company announced a sharp decline in turnover due to US sanctions.

The firm, however, appears to be bouncing back, announcing moderate sales growth for the first nine months of the year in October.

“Shared conviction has helped us break the siege and forge ahead together,” chairman Hu said.

He warned the firm faces “serious challenges ahead of us”.

“Geopolitical and economic uncertainties abound, while technology restrictions and trade barriers continue to have an impact on the world,” Hu said.

But, he added, “changes in the business environment are not caused by geopolitical conflict alone, but also by fluctuating global economic cycles”.

Smartphone breakthrough

During an August visit to Beijing by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the firm released its Mate 60 Pro handset.

The device, powered by an advanced domestically-produced chip, sparked debate about whether attempts to curb China’s technological advancements have been effective.

Commerce Secretary Raimondo this month told Bloomberg the development was “deeply concerning”, promising the “strongest possible” response to ensure the breakthrough did not harm US national security.

And the Mate 60 Pro has shown the ability to bite into key competitor Apple’s profits in China, analysts cited by Bloomberg in October said.

Huawei remains the world’s leading equipment manufacturer for 5G, the fifth generation of mobile internet.

The United States is seeking to convince its allies to ban Huawei from their 5G networks, arguing that Beijing could use the group’s products to monitor a country’s communications and data traffic.

In June, the European Commission ruled that Chinese telecom equipment suppliers — including Huawei — posed a security risk to the EU.

Beijing in response to US curbs has repeatedly slammed what it characterises as Washington’s “abuse of the concept of national security to hobble Chinese companies” and “discriminatory and unfair practices”.

 

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