Sunday 13 June 2021 11:10 am

Huawei profit slumps as UK ban hammers sales

The UK’s decision to blacklist Huawei has hammered sales and profit at the controversial Chinese tech giant, new figures have shown.

Accounts for Huawei Technologies, the company’s UK subsidiary, reveal revenue slumped 27.5 per cent to £913.3m in 2020. Pre-tax profit fell from £48m to £36.5m.

The government last year banned Huawei from building the UK’s 5G network amid national security concerns. 

Network operators have until 2027 to rip out all existing Huawei kit — a process expected to cost billions of pounds and slow down the rollout of the next-generation mobile system.

The company has also been subject to a fierce crackdown by the US under Donald Trump, who led calls for a ban. Huawei’s revenue has also been hit by a ban on the use of Google apps on its phones, forcing the company to develop its own operating system.

President Joe Biden has continued the crackdown on Chinese companies, ordering a review of apps with links to Beijing. 

Huawei said the UK legislation was likely to impact its revenue and operations over the coming years, but said it was confident it could manage this by downsizing its business in this country and introducing new products.

The UK business paid out a dividend of £90m to its parent company in 2020, up from £55m the previous year.

“Political decisions have not only had a real impact on our UK business, the people we employ, and our customers, they will delay the 5G rollout and put Britain into the digital slow lane,” Huawei said in a statement.

“Huawei’s global business has shown resilience and our priority in the UK remains working with our customers and partners to make sure the country’s networks remain reliable.”