Huawei Bounces Back from U.S. Sanctions as Profit Doubles, Spends $23 bn on Research with Local Chips

Chinese tech giant says all of its business segments reported higher revenue in 2023

·         The tech giant on Friday (29.03.2024) said profit rose to 87 billion yuan, or $12 billion, a rise of more than 140% from the same period a year ago.

·         Revenue rose 10% to $99 billion.

·         Huawei surprised U.S. authorities by releasing a new smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, with 5G-like capabilities, running on its homegrown chips.

·         Last year nearly 70% of Huawei’s revenue came from China as its overseas presence shrunk. Five years ago, China formed about 60% of its revenue, while the rest came from Europe and emerging markets.

·         U.S. sanctions beginning in 2019 crushed its smartphone business and forced it to spin off its budget Honor handset brand.

·         Since the launch of the Mate 60 series, Huawei has begun to chip away at Apple’s high-end smartphone market share in China.

·         The company said cloud computing revenue rose 22% last year. Huawei, China’s second-largest cloud computing provider, had outpaced the growth of market leader Alibaba Group and smaller rival Tencent Holdings.

·         Huawei has managed to deliver AI chips that developers say match the capabilities of some of Nvidia’s top processors. Nvidia named Huawei as one of its competitors in its annual report in February.

 

[ABS News Service/30.03.2024]

China’s Huawei Technologies said its net profit more than doubled last year, marking a stunning comeback for the company years after U.S. export controls cut it off from advanced technology.

The tech giant on Friday (29.03.2024) said profit rose to 87 billion yuan, or $12 billion, a rise of more than 140% from the same period a year ago. It is the largest jump in profit for the company since it started reporting comparable figures in 2006. Revenue rose 10% to $99 billion.

It said growth was driven by higher sales in its consumer electronics and cloud computing offerings. Last September, Huawei surprised U.S. authorities by releasing a new smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, with 5G-like capabilities, running on its homegrown chips.

Five years after the U.S. restricted sales of the most powerful chips to Huawei, the telecom equipment and mobile phone maker has shown strong resilience. The company has diversified into new business lines such as cloud computing, enterprise software and automobile systems and retooled its products.

“We’ve been through a lot over the past few years. But through one challenge after another, we’ve managed to grow,” said Ken Hu, Huawei’s rotating chairman.

Last year nearly 70% of Huawei’s revenue came from China as its overseas presence shrunk. Five years ago, China formed about 60% of its revenue, while the rest came from Europe and emerging markets. Huawei doesn’t break out U.S. sales figures.

Revenue from its telecommunication equipment and enterprise technology business grew 2%. Sales at its consumer business group, encompassing products such as smartphones, laptops and smart wearables, rose 17%.

Huawei was one of the world’s largest providers of telecom equipment and among the biggest smartphone makers globally, but U.S. sanctions beginning in 2019 crushed its smartphone business and forced it to spin off its budget Honor handset brand.

U.S. authorities also blocked American carriers from buying from the Chinese company and asked allies not to use Huawei’s telecom equipment, calling the company a national security threat. Huawei said then that restricting it from doing business in the U.S. wouldn’t improve national security and would limit the country’s 5G development.

But the past few months have indicated a reversal of Huawei’s fortunes. Since the launch of the Mate 60 series, Huawei has begun to chip away at Apple’s high-end smartphone market share in China.

On Friday, Huawei said the Mate 60 Series and HarmonyOS, its own operating system for mobile phones and other smart devices, had “received wide acclaim.” The company said its consumer unit grew by “overcoming major technical barriers and diving deep into the industry’s most challenging issues.”

Huawei didn’t provide sales numbers for the phones. Ming-Chi Kuo, a supply chain analyst at TF International Securities, last September predicted that Huawei would likely deliver at least 12 million Mate 60 handsets by August.

The company said cloud computing revenue rose 22% last year. Huawei, China’s second-largest cloud computing provider, had outpaced the growth of market leader Alibaba Group and smaller rival Tencent Holdings. Last year, the company launched new cloud-based artificial-intelligence offerings for business use that are now deployed in banks and mines.

Analysts say Huawei is also set to benefit from China’s localization policy, as the company expands its offerings in areas such as semiconductors, where Beijing is seeking more self-sufficiency.

Huawei has managed to deliver AI chips that developers say match the capabilities of some of Nvidia’s top processors. Nvidia named Huawei as one of its competitors in its annual report in February.

In 2023, Huawei spent $23 billion on research and development, about 23% of its total revenue.