Despite worldwide political pressure, especially from the superpower United States, Huawei’s revenue grew 19.5% in 2018 – hitting US$100 billion. For the financial year 2018, Huawei, which overtook Ericsson in 2012 as the largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer in the world, hit 721.2 billion Yuan (US$107.45 billion; £82.38 billion; RM438.67 billion) in sales.
The Chinese company which overtook Apple in 2018 as the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world registered net profit of 59.3 billion Yuan [8.8 billion USD], about 25.1% higher than a year ago. Although the real driver of growth was the consumer business, the sales in its carrier business, which is its core networking equipment arm, reached 294 billion Yuan.
Huawei’s numbers were indeed sexy and jaw-dropping, considering the intense pressure from President Donald Trump on allies to boycott or ban Huawei from participating in the fifth-generation mobile networks, otherwise known as 5G, the latest mobile internet technology engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks.
And despite the fact that Huawei smartphones are “locked out” of the U.S. market, the US$100 billion mark effectively put Huawei in the same league as Microsoft and Google. In fiscal 2018, Microsoft made US$110.4 billion in revenue and US$35.1 billion in operating income. For the twelve months ending December 31, 2018, Alphabet’s revenue (Google) was US$136.819 billion.
Rotating Chairman Guo Ping took the opportunity during a press conference of the Huawei’s record revenue to attack the U.S. The top executive mocked the superpower for having a “loser’s attitude”, trying to badmouth Huawei because it cannot compete with the Chinese company.
Speaking to a crowd of reporters at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, Mr. Guo said:
“The U.S. government has a loser’s attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against us. Countries that choose to work with Huawei will gain an advantage in the next wave of growth in the digital economy.”
On the questions of spying, which has been consistently alleged by the U.S. government, the Huawei’s top executive has a very simple answer – “We have no intention of committing suicide.”
That could be a reverse psychological statement, but it’s absolutely true that if Huawei is caught – even once – of allowing Beijing to carry out espionage work using its equipment, the company will be game over.
As far back as 2012, Huawei and ZTE Corp were the subjects of an investigation that looked into whether their equipment could pose a threat to U.S. interests. Since then, the U.S. has been warning its allies against using Huawei technology for critical infrastructure, especially the members of the so-called Five Eyes, a group of five English speaking countries – U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain.
So far, the U.S. has not been able to provide any evidence of China uses Huawei as their spying tools. In its latest retaliation against American hate-campaign against the Chinese company, Huawei slapped the U.S. government with a lawsuit, arguing that a law that bans United States federal agencies from buying Huawei products is against its very own Constitution.
Interestingly, Mr. Guo Ping was the same man who raised eyebrows in the recent phone industry’s biggest trade show – MWC Barcelona – where 100,000 participants were given another side of the story of the US-Huawei war. Besides telling a packed main auditorium that the U.S. had absolutely “no evidence” to back their “spying” claims, he also dropped two bombshells.
Reminding the audiences of a US federal law that compels U.S. tech companies to provide law enforcement officials with the requested data stored on servers – even if they are located on foreign soil – Huawei’s rotating Chairman Guo Ping said the real reason the U.S. declares war on Huawei was because the U.S. spy agencies could not spy beyond Huawei equipments.
The other reason being Huawei, after investing heavily in 5G research for the past 10 years, has positioned the company roughly a year ahead of its competitors. Hence, the U.S. had no choice but to keep the company out of the world’s reach by portraying the Chinese solution as a security threat. In doing so, the U.S. can retain its ability to spy until the country, which has fallen behind, could catch up.
About a week ago, the U.S.’ desperate attempt to isolate and block its allies from using the Chinese 5G technology was torpedoed by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, after she announced that German, the biggest economy of the European Union, will not bend over to the superpower’s pressure to boycott Huawei.
However, on Thursday, Britain criticised Huawei for failing to fix long-standing security flaws in its mobile network equipment and revealed new “significant technical issues”. But the U.K. government said it “does not believe that the defects identified are a result of Chinese state interference.” Instead, it blamed “poor software engineering” and a lack of “cybersecurity hygiene.”
In other words, Huawei’s networks could be exploited by a “range of actors”, not spying by the Chinese government. In response, Huawei said it takes the U.K. government’s findings “very seriously”. Meanwhile, David Wang, Huawei executive director for research and development, said the hardware and software were “very complicated systems” and were subject to human error.
The 46-page report, conducted by the Britain’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board together with the British GCHQ intelligence agency, said that Huawei had made “no material progress” addressing security flaws. As a result, the board said it could only provide limited assurances that the security risks posed by Huawei equipment could be managed long term.
Still, Huawei rotating Chairman Guo Ping said he expects double-digit growth for this year. After mocking the U.S. as having abandoned all table manners, the executive said he hoped the Trump administration would “adjust its attitude” in the future.
The company has previously said it was targeting total revenue of US$125 billion this year, a record high.
Source: Finance Twitter