China’s biggest smartphone maker Huawei reported a 2019 revenue growth of 19.1% year-on-year to around $122 billion on Tuesday. Net profit came in at $9 billion, a 5.65% rise from a year earlier.
The company said those numbers would be higher if the United States had not put Huawei on the Entity List, a blacklist that restricts American companies from doing business with it.
“2019 was a tough year for Huawei,” Eric Xu, the rotating chairman of Huawei, said in a call with media to discuss the 2019 financial results. “We didn’t meet our revised $135 billion target. This was the result of the U.S. sanctions.”
Huawei first projected revenue of around $123 billion at the start of 2019, but then they revised the target to $135 billion in April. However, accusing Huawei of being a threat to national security, Washington placed the company on the Entity List last May, stopping Huawei from trading with any American businesses.
Further measures were also taken by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Reuters reported earlier this month that Washington has agreed to several new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to Huawei as they maintain the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment for espionage purposes, an accusation the company has already rejected.
“I hope the restrictions on chips to Huawei is not gonna happen,” Xu said in the media briefing. “If the U.S. government implements these measures against Huawei, China has no choice but to do the same to U.S. enterprises.”
Earlier last week, Huawei announced plans to boost its research and development (R&D) spending by $5.8 billion to more than $20 billion this year.
The coronavirus outbreak in China was a blow to the manufacturing industry, but Huawei has resumed more than 90% of its production and development operations as China slowly returns to work after nationwide closures.
“We never expected an epidemic in 2020,” Xu said. “The global recession and economic turbulence brought by the outbreak are new challenges for Huawei. We are striving to survive.”