Huawei Technologies Co projected a 21 per cent jump in 2018 revenue, showing off a sharp acceleration in top-line growth despite a difficult year in which it struggled to dispel growing concerns about its business and the security of its products. China’s largest technology company by sales is estimating $108.5 billion of revenue for 2018, a year in which it shipped more than 200 million phones to overtake Apple Inc in global market rankings. Rotating Chairman Guo Ping struck a confident tone in a year-end letter posted Thursday, vowing to re-double the company’s efforts to take its place at the forefront of the fifth-generation wireless revolution.
Guo repeated many of the same comments Ken Hu, another of Huawei’s rotating chairmen, made last week during a rare sit-down with international media. The outreach comes as Huawei becomes a lightning rod for America’s fears about China’s economic and technological ascendancy. Elsewhere, major customers from Orange SA to Deutsche Telekom AG and BT Group Plc have voiced concerns about Huawei’s gear, on top of existing bans in Australia, New Zealand and the US.
“The hardship can’t stop us from advancing,” Guo wrote in a letter posted on one of Huawei’s WeChat accounts. “No matter how the storm-tossed situation changes, our strategy of procurement, particularly with regard to US suppliers, will not change.”
The backlash against Huawei comes at a critical juncture for a company with ambitions of leading the rollout of 5G, a technology expected to power-up a plethora of devices from smartphones to cars. The company said it has signed 26 5G deals with worldwide carriers with more than 10,000 base stations shipped. Guo warned that excluding Huawei’s products is simply omitting the best technology. Those concerns erupted into the public discourse after Huawei’s finance chief, Meng Wanzhou, was detained in Canada on allegations she helped defraud banks to violate Iranian sanctions.
President Donald Trump is now considering an executive order effectively barring all American companies from using Huawei or ZTE Corp equipment, Reuters reported, citing unidentified sources. On Thursday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to the report by saying unnamed countries should produce facts to justify their cybersecurity concerns.
“Barring Huawei from participating in various 5G markets is like an NBA game without all-stars,” Guo wrote. “You can’t play to the highest possible technical standards.”