China’s Huawei sees it as “business as usual” as the impact of US sanctions fades

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Corp. estimated on Friday that its 2022 revenue remained flat, suggesting a halt to a decline in sales due to U.S. sanctions.

Although sales increased by only 0.02%, rotating chairman Eric Xu struck an optimistic tone in the company’s annual New Year’s address, revealing the figure.

“American restrictions are now our new normal, and we will return to business as usual,” Shaw wrote in the letter, which was addressed to employees and released to the media.

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

That represented a slight increase from 2021, when revenue was 636.8 billion yuan, and accounted for a 30% year-on-year decrease in sales as US sanctions took effect on the company.

Xu’s letter did not mention Huawei’s profitability. A company typically discloses its full annual results in the first quarter of the following year.

A person stands next to a banner of Huawei during the World Conference on Artificial Intelligence, in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, September 1, 2022. REUTERS/Ali Song

Revenue for 2022 remained well below the company’s record $122 billion in 2019. At the time, the company was at its peak as the number one Android smartphone seller globally.

In 2019, the US Trump administration imposed a trade embargo on Huawei, citing national security concerns, which prevented the company from using Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) Android for its new smartphones, among other important technologies of American origin.

The sanctions caused sales of its mobile devices to plummet. It also lost access to critical components that prevented it from designing its own line of processors for smartphones under HiSilicon’s chipset division.

The company continues to generate revenue through its networking equipment division, which competes with Nokia (NOKIA.HE) and Ericsson (ERICb.ST). It also runs the cloud computing division.

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The company started investing in the electric vehicle sector as well as green technologies around the time the sanctions came into force.

“The macro environment may be full of uncertainty, but what we can be sure of is that digitization and decarbonization are the way forward, and they are where future opportunities lie,” Xu said in the letter.

(Reporting by Josh Horowitz) Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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