Huawei announced resilient revenue for 2019 on Tuesday as the embattled Chinese technology group continues to grow despite America’s prolonged campaign against its business, but cautioned that next year’s growth could prove more challenging.
In a New Year’s message to employees, Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, wrote that the Huawei’s revenue this year stood at 850 billion Chinese yuan ($122 billion), a new record high for the Chinese group and an 18% rise over the previous year.
Xu said Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, sold 240 million phones this year, up from last year’s 206 million.
“These statistics are smaller than our initial estimates, but business remains solid, and we face adversity strongly,” he wrote.
He acknowledged that the U.S. government is facing a “strategic and long-term” campaign against its sector. If the campaign lasts for a long time, “survive and thrive,” he said, would create even more “difficult” atmosphere for the 32-year-old company.
Survival would be the first priority for the company in 2020, he said.
The U.S. added Huawei to this year’s trade blacklist from the Commerce Department and placed new restrictions on its ability to sell and maintain business relationships with American companies. The U.S. government has also warned its partners not to use Huawei products to develop their communications network infrastructure for the next generation, arguing that the Chinese company poses a threat to national security.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said at a conference in New Delhi in October that he hopes that India, the world’s second-largest telecommunications market, “does not accidentally present an undesirable security risk” by using Huawei’s 5 G equipment.
But not all U.S. partners listened to his counsel. Huawei achieved a major victory in India on Monday, which accepted Huawei’s request to take part in 5G spectrum trials.
“We thank the Indian government for their continued belief in Huawei,” said in a statement Jay Chen, India CEO of the company. “We firmly believe that the key to rejuvenating the Indian telecom industry will be only technological innovations and high-quality networks,” he added.