Chinese tech firm Huawei recorded its first yearly revenue drop on record in 2021 as sanctions chip away at the company’s growth.
Huawei reported revenue of 636.8 billion Chinese yuan (£76.2bn) last year, a 28.5 per cent year-on-year drop.
Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou cited US sanctions, “supply continuity challenges” and slowing demand for 5G in China as the key drivers for this fall.
For instance, American curbs on Huawei restricted the tech maker from using Alphabet’s Android for its new smartphone range, as well as limiting its access to other US services.
Meanwhile, UK telecoms providers are also in the process of removing Huawei from its 5G networks following the government’s announcement in July 2020.
In response to this international backlash, Huawei have started to pivot its offering to focus on the car industry and alternative tech investments. Huawei’s spent 142.7 billion yuan (£17.1bn) on research and development in 2021.
Wanzhou also asserted: “Despite a revenue decline in 2021, our ability to make a profit and generate cash flows is increasing, and we are more capable of dealing with uncertainty”.
Though Huawei is not a public company, and thereby not required to publish its results, it announced a net profit increase of 75.9 per cent year on year to 113.7 billion yuan (£13.6bn).
Today’s press conference was notably the first high-profile event Wanzhou has appeared at since her extradition battle with the US.
She had been detained in Canada just before the administration of former President Donald Trump imposed a trade ban on Huawei, citing national security concerns.
She was allowed back to China last September after agreeing with prosecutors to end a bank fraud case.