Daily Management Review

Huawei Is 'More Unified' In The Face Of US Sanctions, Says Company's Repatriated CFO


Huawei Is 'More Unified' In The Face Of US Sanctions, Says Company's Repatriated CFO
US pressure on Chinese etch giant Huawei Technologies has served to strengthen the Chinese telecoms major's resolve, finance head Meng Wanzhou said on Monday after the company's first set of results since her release from incarceration in Canada after nearly three years.
Ren Zhengfei's daughter, who was jailed in Canada in 2018 over alleged attempts by Huawei-linked entities to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions, played a key part in the company's conflict with the US.
Following that, the US put a slew of trade restrictions on the corporation in 2019 and 2020, claiming national security concerns. This hampered Huawei's capacity to design its own CPUs and acquire components from third-party vendors, thus hurting its smartphone business.
Meng was granted permission to return to China in September after reaching an agreement with US authorities to resolve a bank fraud charge.
"Over the past few years our teams have undertaken a lot of pressure, and along this process we have become more united and our strategy has become clearer," she told reporters in her first public appearance at a company event. Huawei had improved its ability to deal with ambiguity, she added.
When asked what she had been up to since returning to work six months ago, Meng stated that the world had changed dramatically.
"I've been learning and trying to catch up," she said.
Sanctions imposed by the United States have continued to have a significant impact on Huawei's company.
Last year, total income fell 29 per cent to 636.8 billion yuan ($100 billion). Net earnings increased by a record 76 per cent to 113.7 billion yuan, owing primarily to the sale of its Honor handset division and server companies in response to U.S. pressure.
Meng blamed the revenue decline to the impact of US sanctions on the smartphone industry, as well as the Cvoid-19 outbreak, supply chain difficulties, and sluggish demand for 5G base stations in China.
Guo Ping, Huawei's current rotating chairman, stated that the company hopes to find a solution to continue its smartphone division and will increase investment in research to seek microprocessor "breakthroughs" after losing access to certain advanced technology as a result of the lawsuit.
Though Guo did not directly answer repeated questions on whether Huawei planned to build its own chip manufacturing facility, he highlighted artificial intelligence (AI), Wifi6 connectivity, green energy, automotive and cloud computing as key areas for R&D and new business opportunities.
When asked if US sanctions against Russia will harm Huawei, Guo said the business is analysing related policies and has no intentions to export its mobile operating system Harmony OS.
Many analysts have questioned if Chinese firms such as Huawei can fill the hole created by foreign firms that have left Russia in protest of the Ukraine crisis.