Huawei growth weakens as COVID-19, politics bite to make carriers its slowest-growing segment

13 percent growth ain’t bad, but the Chinese giant has previously done better

Huawei has posted its results for the first half of 2020 and the news is mixed.

The headline result - CNY454 billion (US$65bn) with 13.1 percent year on year growth – is a lovely number.

However in the first half of 2019 Huawei grew by 23.2 percent. So this year’s number is something of a slowdown.

Profit margins, however, improved from 2019’s 8.7 percent to 9.2 percent in 2020.

The company’s controversial carrier group, which is trying to fund customers despite western governments banning it from 5G builds, grew by just under nine percent year on year. The nascent enterprise group grew by a tick under 15 percent and the consumer group scored reported almost 16 percent of revenue growth.

Huawei’s brief announcement of its finances noted the complexities of doing business during a plague, and said the company “has promised to continue fulfilling its obligations to customers and suppliers, and to survive, forge ahead, and contribute to the global digital economy and technological development, no matter what future challenges the company faces.”

That’s surely a nod to both the supply chain disruptions caused by viral economic turmoil and the geopolitical forces shaping Huawei’s ability to find customers.

The former is a common problem, the latter unique to Huawei. But with 13 percent growth despite both issues, plenty of other businesses will be wishing their problems produced similar results. ®

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