Huawei revenues accelerated in first half despite US sanctions

But Chinese telecommunications giant says its full year results will be affected by US curbs.

    The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy, which Huawei has repeatedly denied [File: Aly Song/Reuters]
    The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy, which Huawei has repeatedly denied [File: Aly Song/Reuters]

    China's Huawei Technologies said on Tuesday that revenue in the first half of the year grew by 23.2 percent - faster than a year ago - despite an intense campaign by the United States against it that ultimately became a trade ban from mid-May.

    Unlisted Huawei, which only started disclosing quarterly results this year, said revenue in the first half rose to 401.3 billion yuan ($58.3bn) from 325.7 billion yuan ($47.3bn) a year ago, with smartphone shipments reaching 118 million units, up by 24 percent.

    Huawei's supply chain was significantly disrupted when it was put on a trade blacklist by Washington in mid-May. The US government alleges it is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy, an accusation Huawei has repeatedly denied.

    It has since been given a three-month reprieve till August 19, and US President Donald Trump signalled that Washington would be relaxing the sanctions on Huawei, though details are unknown.

    Huawei's revenue growth is now at 23 percent, up from 15 percent growth in the same period of last year.

    "Revenue grew fast up through May," Huawei Chairman Liang Hua told reporters 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 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."

    He added that the restrictions are forcing the company to make significant changes to the way it operates.

    "In a way, the US government's pressure on Huawei has helped us understand our objectives better," Liang said. "It has improved collaboration across different departments and it has galvanized our people and reinvigorated the company."

    Huawei's founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told reporters last month that the effect of the blacklisting was worse than expected. It could cost the company $30bn in revenue, and Huawei's revenue this year and in 2020 could stay roughly the same as 2018 at approximately $100bn, he said.

    Analysts say strong domestic smartphone sales and new 5G carrier contracts helped offset the effect 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. 

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency