2019 was a challenging year for Huawei. The smartphone and communications giant saw massive technological innovation, despite bans and mounting suspicion from the US government. But Huawei has pulled out of its rockiest year with an edge — according to rotating chairman Eric Xu’s New Year’s message, Huawei’s 2019 sales revenue exceeded 850 billion yuan, a record high.
This marks an increase of 18% from last year. While this number is slightly lower than 2018’s year-on-year growth of 19.5%, Xu is optimistic. His statement begins, “If not for the bone-deep bite of winter, where would we get the heady scent of plums?”
The New Year’s message also acknowledged the company’s setbacks in 2019 and resolved to grow despite the United States’’ “strategic and long-term” campaign to suppress it.
The Unfinished Story of Huawei: Phones, 5G, and “Harmony” at the Heart of the Trade War
According to the report, Huawei’s success in 2019 was largely due to two factors: international 5G contracts and thriving smartphone sales.
Not long ago, 5G was just a buzzword, and international smartphone sales looked iffy, as Google considered removing their Google Play store from Huawei phones (an alarming threat for Huawei, who ship half of their phones to overseas consumers). But Huawei has managed to ride both of these to a successful year end.
Huawei shipped over 240 million smartphones last year, an increase of 17% from 2018. Xu also states that Huawei was the chosen digital innovation partner for 228 out of the world’s top 500 companies, in more than 700 cities around the world.
Even so, it’s clear the year ahead could prove rocky for Huawei. Xu’s declaration rings out: “2020 will be a difficult year for Huawei…Survival is our first priority.”
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