Huawei: stable sales in 2022 despite US sanctions

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Despite a sales increase of just 0.02 percent, rotating president Eric Xu struck an optimistic tone in the company’s annual New Year’s letter, where he revealed the figure.

« The U.S. restrictions are now our new normal and we are back to business as usual, » Xu wrote in the letter to staff and released to the media.

Revenue for the year is expected to be 636.9 billion yuan ($91.53 billion), according to Xu.

This represents a minimal increase from 2021, when revenue reached 636.8 billion yuan, and marked a 30 percent drop in sales with the implementation of U.S. sanctions against the company.

However, Mr. Xu’s letter does not mention Huawei’s profitability. The company typically discloses its full annual results in the first quarter of the following year.

The 2022 revenue figure still falls well short of the company’s record $122 billion in 2019. Back then, the company was at its peak as the world’s largest Android smartphone vendor.

Indeed, in 2019, the U.S. Trump administration imposed a trade ban on Huawei, citing national security concerns, which prevented the company from using Android for its new smartphones.

Blacklisted by Washington, Huawei has been progressively sidelined from 5G deployment around the world, including in Europe and Australia. The Covid-19 pandemic has added to this already dark picture, causing difficulties in the supply of semiconductors. Increasingly isolated, Huawei was forced at the end of 2020 to divest its Honor brand, which specializes in entry-level smartphones.

The sanctions have caused its handset sales to plummet. 

But the company still generates revenue through its networking equipment division, which competes with Nokia and Ericsson. It also operates a cloud computing division.

In addition, the company began investing in the electric vehicle (EV) sector as well as green technologies around the time the sanctions went into effect.

« The macroeconomic environment may be full of uncertainties, but what we can be certain of is that digitization and decarbonization is the way forward and that’s where future opportunities lie, » Xu said in his letter.

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