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April 1, 2020

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Huawei sees ‘most difficult year’ in 2020

Huawei said yesterday it had sustained solid growth globally in 2019 despite a US campaign to isolate the Chinese tech giant, but warned of its “most difficult year” ahead.

The stark warning follows stringent US sanctions, worsened by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s top supplier of telecoms networking equipment and the biggest smartphone maker after Samsung, posted revenue growth of over 19 percent in 2019 thanks to booming carrier and consumer business as the world moves to 5G.

Revenue was 858.8 billion yuan (US$122.6 billion), up 19.1 percent year on year, with net profit of 62.7 billion yuan, up 5.6.

Huawei invested 15.3 percent of its 2019 revenue in research and development, which taking its total R&D spending over the past decade to more than 600 billion yuan.

“Despite enormous outside pressure, business remains solid,” Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, said in an online conference.

The pressure includes US attempts to block Huawei, which forced the company to “take a lot of time and work” to communicate with its partners, clients and regulators around the world, Xu said.

“The external environment will only get more complicated going forward,” he said.

Xu warned 2020 would be Huawei’s “most difficult year,” given it would be subject to entity-listing — a blacklist that restricts US firms doing business with it — for the full year.

While the firm had substantial stockpiles to respond to customer needs last year, these are running low and 2020.


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