Date
15 December 2019
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei attends a panel discussion at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Monday. Photo: Reuters
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei attends a panel discussion at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Huawei CEO: Underestimated impact of US ban

Huawei Technologies’ founder and CEO said on Monday that the impact of a US ban on his firm has been more severe than expected, and warned that revenue would dip to around US$100 billion this year and the next.

Huawei had not expected that US determination to “crack” the company would be “so strong and so pervasive”, Ren Zhengfei said at Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters, Reuters reports.

The Trump administration has put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bans American firms from doing business with the Chinese telecoms equipment firm, alleging that Huawei’s products could allow China to spy on US communications.

The ban has forced companies, including Google and British chip designer ARM, to limit or cease their relationships with Huawei.

Huawei’s international smartphone shipments will drop 40 percent, Ren said on Monday, without specifying a period.

Bloomberg reported on Sunday that the tech giant was preparing for a 40-60 percent decline in overseas smartphone shipments.

“We did not expect they would attack us on so many aspects,” Ren said but added that he expects a revival in the business in 2021.

“We cannot get components supply, cannot participate in many international organizations, cannot work closely with many universities, cannot use anything with US components, and cannot even establish connection with networks that use such components.”

Ren, however, said Huawei will not cut research and development spending despite the expected hit to the company’s finances, and would not have large-scale layoffs.

Huawei had reported revenue of 721.2 billion yuan (US$104.16 billion) last year and said a few months ago it expected revenue this year to jump to US$125 billion.

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