Huawei reports $105bn revenues as smartphone sales soar

29 Mar 2019

The new P30 Pro smartphone. Image: Huawei

Momentum behind Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is proving unstoppable.

Arrests, bans, spying accusations … It would be the kind of pressure that would make most companies fold but Huawei is pressing on.

The Chinese telecoms equipment giant has reported 2018 revenues of $105bn, its first time surpassing the $100bn milestone, with sales up 20pc on the previous year.

‘The US government has a loser’s attitude’

The results put Huawei in the same league as Google and Microsoft in terms of the size of its revenues.

A crucial factor in the revenue results was the 45pc growth in sales in the company’s smartphone division to $52bn.

The company this week revealed the new P30 flagship series and is enjoying success from last year’s Mate 20 Pro and the popular and still highly relevant P20 series.

At the current velocity, Huawei could become the world’s biggest-selling smartphone vendor this year, displacing Samsung, having already done so with Apple.

Espionage fears

However, there is continued pressure from the US and its Five Eyes allies over spying allegations, and revenues in the company’s carrier technology division fell 1.3pc.

A key concern for 2019 will be whether or not the Chinese company’s equipment is banned as countries begin their pivotal 5G roll-outs.

“The US government has a loser’s attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei,” said Guo Ping, rotating chairperson at Huawei, according to Reuters. “I hope the US can adjust its attitude.”

The company’s technological edge in 5G networking equipment cannot be ignored and there are concerns that countries such as the US and Australia may only end up impeding the roll-out of 5G in their respective countries.

This week the UK’s GCHQ claimed that Huawei has failed to adequately address security defects in its systems. However, European telecoms firms, including Eir, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone have said they are sticking with Huawei. Vodafone warned recently that halting the use of the Chinese company’s equipment over unproven spy fears would set back 5G deployment by years.

“Moving forward, we will do everything we can to shake off outside distractions, improve management and make progress towards our strategic goals,” Guo said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years