Huawei Tops $100 Billion Revenue, 19.5 Percent Rise in Sales Despite Political Frictions

Chinese tech giant Huawei released its 2018 Annual Report today and announced a 19.5 percent increase in sales over 2017 to 721.2 billion ($105.2billion) despite the growing tensions between the U.S. and China over technology and cybersecurity.

According to the report, the company’s net profit last year rose 25.1 percent to 59.3 billion yuan ($8.6 billion), and has a healthy cash flow from operating activities at 74.6 billion yuan.

Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping has stated that, “In the first two months of 2019, our revenue grew by more than 30 percent, with double-digit growth in all three business sectors. We predict that this year there will still be double-digit growth with the recovery of operators’ 5G-driven investment, global industry digitalization opportunities and consumer business needs.”

The company’s three largest business sectors are consumer, enterprise and carrier. The two former sectors experienced a growth of 45.1 and 23.8 percent respectively, and its carrier business, however, experienced a drop of 1.3 percent year-on-year.

Huawei’s carrier business revenue of 294 billion RMB ($42.9 billion) was a slight drop from its 2017 revenue of 297 billion. The potential dip may be attributed to the growing number of competitive smartphones across the globe, especially by Chinese manufacturers, in the mid-range prices.

After being labeled as a security threat by the U.S., Huawei’s business sectors continues to excel in the Chinese and EMEA regions compared to the Asia Pacific and American regions. The combined revenue from its Chinese (372 billion RMB) and EMEA regions (204 billion RMB) is more than four times the total revenue of its American (47.8 billion RMB) and Asia Pacific ones (81.9 billion).

5G Rollout

Going into 2019, Huawei expects to maintain a robust growth, according to Guo. The company will be putting emphasis on 5G and try to “seize the first wave of business opportunities for 5G”. He adds, “We will continue to invest over 10 percent of our annual revenue in R&D. In 2018 alone, our R&D investment exceeded 100 billion yuan.”

Huawei 5G
Huawei 5G (Source: Internet)

“As of February 28, 2019, Huawei has signed more than 30 5G commercial contracts with leading global carriers and have shipped more than 40,000 5G sites to different markets around the world,” says Guo.

According to Washington Post, countries such as Australia and Japan have imposed curbs on the use of Huawei technology, but European countries such as Germany and France are balking at U.S. demands to exclude it from 5G networks. Carriers complain that would reduce competition, raise prices and delay the rollout of 5G service.

Huawei has already partnered with several carriers around the world, including British operator Vodafone, Spanish operator Telefónica, and other carriers across China such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, for 5G commercialization.

Huawei P30 and P30 pro
Huawei P30 and P30 pro camera phone

Though not 5G-ready, the recently released Huawei P30 series smartphones have sparked excitement across the global community with its impressive camera setup. However, the Mate 30 series could be different and have a 5G version upon release.

Richard Yu at the P30 series launch event
Richard Yu at the P30 series launch event

Speaking at the P30 launch event in Paris, Huawei CEO Richard Yu said the company was “considering” putting 5G in the next series of Mate phones, adding that the P30 and P30 Pro didn’t have a 5G configuration due to 5G networks being under construction still.

Featured Image Source: Asian Review