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Huawei Chairman Vows to Retake Smartphone ‘Throne’ Despite US Sanctions

Chairman Guo Ping admits the company is ‘stuck’ after US sanctions but says it will overcome its chip production challenges and become the world’s top smartphone once again

An employee uses a Huawei P40 smartphone at the IFA consumer technology fair, amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Berlin, in Sept 2020. Photo: Michele Tantussi, Reuters.

Huawei Technologies’ chairman says choking US sanctions won’t prevent its smartphone business from eventually retaking the industry’s ”throne.”

Huawei, once briefly the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, dropped out of the ranks of China’s top five sellers in the latest quarter, the first time in more than seven years, according to research firm Canalys.  

In 2019 former US President Donald Trump accused Huawei of being a threat to national security, put it on an export blacklist and barred it from accessing critical technology of US origin, affecting its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

“Everyone knows that phone chips need advanced technology in a small size with low power consumption,” Huawei chairman Guo Ping was quoted as saying in a transcript of a recent Q&A with staff. ”Huawei can design it, but no one can help us make it: we’re stuck.”

But Guo said Huawei won’t give up and that the problems were solvable. “Huawei will continue to exist in the field of mobile phones and with continuous advances in chip production, the smartphone throne will eventually return,” he said.

In November, Huawei sold off its lower-end smartphone brand Honor, a move aimed at keeping the business alive.

Huawei’s revenue tumbled 29% in the first half of this year, its biggest-ever fall, with revenue from its consumer business group which includes smartphones, diving 47% to 135.7 billion yuan ($21 billion).

• Reuters and Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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