Huawei profits up 25% in 2018 but carrier business slows

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Despite an ongoing row with the US about network security, Huawei maintained strong business growth in 2018, with net profit reaching Rmb59.3 billion (€7.86 billion), up 25.1% year-on-year.

Huawei’s 2018 Annual Report reveals that Huawei’s sales revenue for 2018 closed at Rmb721.2 billion (€95.65 billion), up 19.5% on the previous year.

The main growth came from the company’s consumer smartphone business, with sales reaching Rmb348.9 billion (€46.27 billion), up 45.1% year-on-year. Huawei's enterprise business was up 23.8% to Rmb74.4 billion  (€9.87 billion).

Its carrier business didn’t fare so well, with sales revenue reaching Rmb294 billion (€39 billion), falling 1.3%.

Cybersecurity and privacy

The US has been pressuring Western governments to ban Huawei equipment from their 5G deployments, accusing the Chinese vendor of spying for the Chinese state and more. Huawei strongly denies the allegations.

Guo Ping, Huawei's Rotating Chairman, said, "Information communications technology is rapidly working its way into every industry. This has triggered a digital, intelligent transformation – the driving force behind our digital economy. Through heavy, consistent investment in 5G innovation, alongside large-scale commercial deployment, Huawei is committed to building the world's best network connections. Throughout this process, Huawei will continue to strictly comply with all relevant standards to build secure, trustworthy, and high-quality products.

“As we work towards this goal, we have been explicitly clear: Cybersecurity and user privacy protection are at the absolute top of our agenda. We are confident that the companies that choose to work with Huawei will be the most competitive in the 5G era. And countries that choose to work with Huawei will gain an advantage for the next wave of growth in the digital economy."

Guo added, "The easiest way to bring down a fortress is to attack it from within. And the easiest way to reinforce it is from outside. Moving forward, we will do everything we can to shake off outside distractions, improve management and make progress towards our strategic goals. We will continue to strengthen operational compliance, ensure business continuity and sustainability, and cultivate an open ecosystem where all players collaborate and prosper together. In addition, we will continue our organisational transformation to inspire greater passion and vitality across the organisation.”

EU makes 5G security plan

In the light of the ongoing controversy surrounding Huawei, the European Commission last week announced a plan to secure 5G across the European Union. Under the plan, the 28 countries in the EU will carry out national risk assessments in the next three months. A further 15 will then act on and improve the new standards to protect critical communications infrastructure.