Huawei H1 revenue up 23% despite US sanctions

July 30, 2019 16:40
Huawei saw its smartphone sales rise in China as mainland consumers backed the firm amid a view that the company was being unfairly targeted by Washington. Photo: Reuters

Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies said its revenue expanded at a faster pace in the first half of 2019, compared to the level a year ago, despite US sanctions on the firm.

Revenue jumped 23.2 percent in the six months to June to 401.3 billion yuan (US$58.28 billion) from 325.7 billion a year ago, Reuters cited the company as saying on Tuesday.

Smartphone shipments reached 118 million units, up 24 percent from a year ago.

The growth came even as Huawei’s supply chain was significantly disrupted when it was put on a trade blacklist by Washington in mid-May.

The company has since been given a 3-month reprieve till August 19, and US President Donald Trump has hinted that Washington could relax the sanctions.

Huawei’s 23 percent revenue growth for the first half compared with the 15 percent expansion in the same period of last year.

“Revenue grew fast up through May,” Huawei Chairman Liang Hua was quoted as saying at an earnings briefing.

“Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the [US] entity list. That’s not to say we don’t have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term.”

Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told reporters last month that the impact of the blacklisting was worse than expected. 

It could cost the company US$30 billion in revenue, and Huawei’s revenue this year and in 2020 could stay roughly the same as 2018 at around $100 billion, Ren said.

Analysts say strong domestic smartphone sales and new 5G carrier contracts helped offset the impact from the export ban that threatens to cut Huawei’s access to advanced US components and software such as Google Android apps.

According to data from Canalys, Huawei expanded its lead in China’s smartphone market in the second quarter, while overseas smartphones sales had a slight drop year-on-year.

The company's market share in China rose more than 10 percentage points to 38 percent in the quarter, even as all other top vendors lost ground, Canalys data showed.

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