Huawei sees slight revenue and profit growth in 2020 despite US sanctions

Huawei growth despite sanctions
A staff member showcases Huawei's new 5G Mate X2 foldable phone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies saw slight revenue and profit growth in 2020, in line with its expectations, its rotating chairman said on Tuesday, even as Washington toughened sanctions against the Chinese telecom equipment maker.

The company was put on an export blacklist by former US President Donald Trump in 2019 and barred from accessing critical technology of US origin, affecting its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it poses a security risk.

“Huawei was confronted with some extraordinary difficulties last year,” rotating Chairman Ken Hu said at industry event Mobile World Congress Shanghai in the Chinese business hub.

“Operations were relatively stable and in line with our guidance, registering slight growth in revenue and profit.”

This month, founder and Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei said he hoped the Biden administration would “harbour an open policy” towards US firms doing business with Huawei in his first comments to the media in about a year.

China has spent more than 260 billion yuan ($40.27 billion) building its 5G network, an official of the Ministry of Information and Information Technology said on Tuesday.

On Monday, Huawei unveiled its new 5G Mate X2 foldable phone, which makes use of its proprietary Kirin processor.

However, with the cheapest model starting at 17,999 yuan ($2,788), the phone is not positioned to challenge players in the mainstream market.

Huawei set up 50,000 base stations in Indonesia, Hu said, adding that it planned to build 2,000 base stations in remote regions of Ghana.

The company is expected to post full-year results in March, a spokesman said.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Writing by David Kirton; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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