Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Eric Xu said Tuesday the telecom giant’s full-year revenue would likely soar 18% in 2019 to 850 billion yuan ($121.72 billion), lower than its earlier estimates, with a US boycott likely impeding the company’s growth.
In a New Year’s message to employees, Xu predicted 2020 would be a difficult year. “The external environment is becoming more complicated than ever, and downward pressure on the global economy has intensified,” he said. “In the long term, the US government will continue to suppress the development of leading technology – a challenging environment for Huawei to survive and thrive.”
According to Xu, Huawei managed to ship 240 million smartphones this year, 20% more than in 2018. However, those were mainly handsets launched before the ban. The company’s newest flagship, the Mate 30, went on sale in September but still struggles to access a licensed version of Google’s Android operating system.
Huawei plans to “go all out” in 2020 to build up the Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem, and push back against US sanctions. “Difficulties are always the prelude to greater victory, and challenges are the sharpening stones of a strong team,” said Xu in the encouraging last paragraph of his letter.
Huawei was blacklisted by the United States in May, due to it allegedly being a threat to US national security. The company is currently barred from sourcing parts from US producers. It has also lost access access to technologies like Google’s Android operating system.