Huawei 1Q revenue climbs 39 percent amidst US pressure

Chinese networking vendor has reported a 39 percent increase in revenue to 197.7 billion yuan (US$29.5 billion) for the first quarter of 2019, when it shipped 59 million smartphones and inked 40 commercial contracts for 5G globally.

Huawei has churned 179.7 billion yuan (US$29.5 billion) in revenue for the first quarter of 2019, up 39 percent from the previous year, and sold 59 million smartphones worldwide. It also inked 40 commercial contracts for 5G with global carriers and shipped more than 70,000 5G base stations for the quarter. 

In fact, the Chinese networking vendor said 2019 would be a "year of large-scale 5G deployment", with its carrier enterprise group expected to have "unprecedented opportunities for growth".

This proclaimed optimism comes in spite of repeated calls from the US government for countries to boycott Huawei's telecommunications systems, specifically its 5G equipment, over allegations that the vendor had shared sensitive information with the Chinese government and provided access to private US business communications. The US increasingly also is putting pressure on its allies, including Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK, to ban Huawei products, with threats that it would be "difficult" for US to do business in countries that deployed Huawei equipment. 

On its part, the Chinese vendor repeatedly has denied allegations of spying and espionage, noting that the US government has never offered any evidence supporting such claims and, instead, hacked Huawei's servers and stole its email and source codes. The Chinese tech giant also accused the US of blocking it from 5G markets across the globe. 

Speaking at Huawei's Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen earlier this month, its deputy chairman Ken Hu noted that 5G was being deployed much faster than expected and development of 5G devices was for the first time keeping pace with 5G network development. 

The Chinese company projected that there would be 2.8 billion 5G users worldwide by 2025 and it was looking to build the backend networks necessary to support this growth.

This focus on network infrastructure and smart devices had fuelled its robust results for the first quarter, Huawei said, adding that its net profit grew 8 percent. It also claimed to have shipped the most Wi-Fi 6 products globally. 

The US Department of Defence early this month released a report suggesting that China had taken the lead in 5G development through "a series of aggressive investment and spectrum-allocation initiatives". It noted that major Chinese technology manufacturers including Huawei and ZTE were pushing commercial sales of 5G equipment and consumer devices, as well as building 5G networks in markets across Europe, despite pressure from US.

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