Huawei 2020 sales, profits rose despite imposed US sanctions

Photo: AP

The Chinese tech giant announced a new surge of sales and profits in 2020 as domestic market demand was strong enough to offset the influence of imposed sanctions in US, AP reported. However in 2020 sales of phones, network equipment and other technology spiked by 3.8% over 2019 to $135.8 billion, a decline from the previous year’s 19.1% growth. That was due to a 15.4% gain in China, while sales in other markets shrank.

Huawei Technologies has been struggling to keep its global markets after US President Donald Trump in 2019 stopped the access to US processor chips and other technology. Huawei was the top-selling smartphone brand in the second quarter of 2020 but fell out of the global top five after losing Google’s music and other popular services.

“We think this is a very unfair situation to Huawei. It has damaged us a lot,” chairman Ken Hu said at a news conference at Huawei headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen.The results reflect the damage from sanctions and point to a possible future for Huawei that focuses on China and on networks and other products that are less vulnerable to foreign pressure. Huawei, which denies accusations it might aid Chinese spying, sold its lower-priced Honor smartphone brand in hopes of reviving sales by separating it from the sanctions on the parent company. Huawei says it has a stockpile of US chips for its high-end smartphones but executives have said those are running out. Trump expanded sanctions by barring global suppliers last year from using US technology to produce chips for Huawei.

Economists and political analysts expect little change under President Joe Biden, who succeeded Trump in January.

Huawei said 2020 profit edged up 3.2% to $9.8 billion, decelerating from 2019’s 5.6% growth. Sales growth was the weakest since a one-year contraction in the early 2000s after the tech industry was shaken by the collapse of share prices for internet companies on Wall Street, according to the company.

Sales of smartphones and other consumer products rose 3.3% over 2019 to $74.1 billion, or 54% of total revenue. That was down from a 34% increase in 2019.

Network equipment sales to global phone carriers were flat at $46.4 billion after Washington pressured European and other allies to exclude Huawei as they upgrade to next-generation technology.

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