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Year of Wins Propels Huawei From ‘Survival’ to $100bn Revenue

The Chinese tech giant plans to focus on its device business over the coming year, while increasing the efficiency of its overall operations to counter geopolitical uncertainty

A Chinese flag flutters near a Huawei store in Shanghai, China
A Chinese flag flutters near a Huawei store in Shanghai, China. Photo: Reuters


A little over a year after saying it was aiming simply for ‘survival’, China’s Huawei Technologies is projecting a 9% increase in revenue on the back of a slew of chip breakthroughs and sales wins.

Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu said the Chinese technology group is expecting revenue to exceed 700 billion yuan ($98.5 billion) in this year, up from the 642.3 billion yuan reported in 2022.

“After years of hard work, we’ve managed to weather the storm. And now we’re pretty much back on track,” Hu said in an internal new year message.


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Huawei’s revenue growth comes after US sanctions in 2019 cut off the world’s largest smartphone company at the time from advanced technologies and led to sharp falls in its income.

This year, however, Huawei surprised the smartphone market by launching its Mate60 series, believed to be powered by a domestically developed 7nm chipset.

The chip — dubbed as the Kirin 9000s — was largely viewed as Huawei’s win over US sanctions.

The phone’s launch triggered a wave of patriotic buying from Chinese customers that went to end a 10-quarter-long winter in the world’s largest smartphone market.

It also enabled Huawei to overtake Apple as the largest smartphone seller in China.

In the message sent to staff, Hu said Huawei’s device business segment, which includes its smartphone business, had performed better than expected in 2023.

Huawei’s smartphone shipments surged 83% in October year-on-year.

Looking ahead to 2024, Huawei said in the letter the device business would be one of the major business lines it would focus on for expansion.

“Our device business needs to double down on its commitment to developing best-in-class products and building a high-end brand with a human touch,” the letter said.


Year of wins

The Mate60 series was only one of the many wins Huawei witnessed this year.

The raging tech war between China and the US has proved especially fruitful for Huawei. Mounting US sanctions have meant that many companies are quickly cutting their reliance on Western firms such as Nvidia, out of caution.

They have also led the Xi Jinping government to push state entities to stop using software from US firms like Microsoft and Adobe.

Huawei has emerged as the clear winner of both those crusades, winning orders from domestic technology giants and state firms for everything from its Ascend AI chips to EulerOS computer software.

The Ascend 910 chips are being seen domestically as a direct competitor to Nvidia’s A100.

In its most recent breakthrough, Huawei also unveiled a new laptop — the Qingyun L540 — that company descriptions said was enabled with a 5nm chip.

Huawei, however, is yet to officially confirm a breakthrough, on both the 5nm and 7nm chipsets.



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New EV launch

Aside from those breakthroughs, Huawei also made progress in its ambitions to grow its electric vehicle (EV) business.

On Wednesday, the company launched its Aito M9 EV. State media CGTN reported, Huawei had received more than 50,000 orders for the vehicle since pre-sales began in September.

At the launch, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group Richard Yu said the company “has survived the harshest winter.”

The launch came on the heels of Huawei’s decision to spin off its EV unit into a $35 billion venture that has received the backing of several Chinese state-backed automakers including Changan Auto, FAW Group and Dongfeng Motor Group.



Not all roses

While events over the year indicate the Chinese tech giant is rebounding from crippling US sanctions, the company acknowledges it is not out of the woods yet.

In his note, Huawei’s Ken Hu thanked the company’s “partners across the value chain for standing with us through thick and thin.”

“And I’d also like to thank every member of the Huawei team for embracing the struggle – for never giving up,” Hu said.

But he also went on to indicate that 2024 will not necessarily be an easy year for the firm.

“Geopolitical and economic uncertainties abound, while technology restrictions and trade barriers continue to have an impact on the world,” Hu noted.

To tackle these challenges, Hu said Huawei would focus on strengthening the efficiency of its business operations. This included initiatives to “streamline HQ, simplify management, and ensure consistent policy, while making adjustments where needed.”


  • Reuters, with additional inputs from Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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