Hard-pressed Huawei today chortled at the US government's "loser attitude" as it reported (PDF) healthy double-digit bounces in both its top and bottom line, lifted by the rise of its smartphones and enterprise gear.
Privately owned Huawei said revenue for 2018 was up 19.5 per cent year-on-year to ¥721.2bn (£82bn, $107bn), in spite of a long-running campaign by the US to scare Western allies off buying Chinese-made tech over fears that backdoors are being built in to aid espionage.
The consumer business – Huawei is now the third-largest smartphone seller worldwide – jumped an impressive 45.1 per cent to ¥348.9bn (£39.7bn, $52bn). The manufacturer just this week updated its line-up with the P30 regular and Pro models.
The enterprise division – think data centre kit, all flash storage and Wi-Fi networking hardware, as well as cloud, big data, AI – grew 23.8 per cent to ¥74.4bn ($11.1bn, £8.47bn). The carrier unit was flat on the prior year at ¥294bn ($43.8bn £33.47bn).
Other business – unspecified – was ¥3.929bn ($585.5m, £447.23m), down 26.1 per cent year-on-year.
Sales in China came in at ¥372.162bn ($55.46bn, £42.37bn), up 19.1 per cent; EMEA generated ¥204.536bn ($30.48bn, £23.29bn); Asia Pacific some ¥81.918bn ($12.21bn, £9.33bn), up 15.1 per cent; Americas ¥47.885bn ($7.14bn, £5.45bn); and Other ¥14.701bn ($2.19bn, £1.67bn).
This comes in spite of a relentless campaign by the US government to tarnish Chinese-made kit, and plant seeds of doubt that Huawei may be called upon at any by the communist regime in its home nation to use its networking gear for nefarious means.
No evidence of espionage has come to light, though the firm's security practices were yesterday savaged by the Brit code review board overseeing the unit Huawei set up with GCHQ's NCSC arm – the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC). The oversight board pointed to "serious and systematic defects" in its software engineering and security competence.
Huawei has been banned from US federal procurement – the company is currently suing the American government over this – and flags of caution were also raised by Australia and New Zealand, though US efforts to bring European allies in line have so far largely failed.
Guo Ping, rotating chairman at Huawei, said in today's annual report: "In the face of suspicion and exclusion, the trust of our customers in our greatest motivation. We will continue to deliver the best possible products and services, and build trust through action."
At a press conference this morning, Guo joked about the US government's "loser attitude", and that it "wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei". It is certainly true that foamier Cisco boss John Chambers was most concerned about the rise of the Chinese vendor, partly because Huawei is private and can use its more profitable businesses to subsidise areas its rival trying to break into.
"I hope the US can adjust its attitude," he added.
Don't hold your breath, Mr Guo.
As for the 2018 results, net profit jumped 25 per cent to ¥59.345bn (£6.76bn, $8.85bn), the third time in four years that Huawei has banked double-digit percentage gains on its bottom line. ®