Huawei reaches record $122 billion revenue despite US government sanctions, warns of tough times ahead

Recap: It’s been a strange year for Huawei. In May, the Chinese giant was added to an Entity List that effectively banned US organizations from doing business with it, yet the company still managed to reach a record $122 billion in revenue during 2019. But the firm has warned that 2020 will be a lot more challenging as it goes into “survival mode.”

In a New Year’s message to employees, rotating chairman Eric Xu wrote that revenue exceeded 850 billion Chinese Yun ($122 billion) this year, which marks an 18 percent YoY increase. While this is a record high for the company, sales figures were still lower than initially forecast. The 240 million handsets it sold in 2019 was up from 206 million last year.

“These figures are lower than our initial projections, yet business remains solid and we stand strong in the face of adversity,” wrote Xu, who added that success came despite” concerted efforts to keep us down” by the US government.

Despite having a good year, Xu believes that if the US government continues “to suppress the development of leading technology,” it will result in a “challenging environment for Huawei to survive and thrive.”

“Survival will be our first priority,” said Xu. He added that the company would focus on sustaining growth, boosting its capabilities, “optimizing” its organization, and controlling risks.

While the US has asked its allies not to use Huawei’s 5G equipment in their networks, not every country has agreed to this request. India is allowing Huawei to participate in trials of its 5G spectrum, while UK security chiefs have reportedly told Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow Huawei to provide Britain’s 5G networks.

Last week, Huawei denied a report that it been given an advantage over its competitors by receiving up to $75 billion in Chinese government aid.