Huawei Grew in 2020 Despite U.S. Sanctions

Posted on March 31, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Hardware, Mobile, Android with 2 Comments

Huawei reported overall growth in 2020, but its consumer business was hit particularly hard by U.S. sanctions, and most of its growth came from China. And revenue fell in the fourth quarter, suggesting that 2021 might continue that trend.

“The supply restrictions for our smartphone business [have] caused us a great impact, and we haven’t been able to see a clear picture in the supply for our smartphones,” Huawei deputy chairperson Ken Hu said this morning. “We think this is a very unfair situation to Huawei and it has caused a lot of damage to us.”

Huawei reported that its 2020 revenues hit $136 billion, a gain of 3.8 percent. That the firm was able to grow revenues at all in 2020 is rather amazing, but that growth does represent the smallest year-over-year growth that Huawei has ever reported.

Worse, the fourth quarter saw revenues fall 11.2 percent to $33.6 billion, the first time Huawei has ever reported a shortfall in the holiday quarter. That quarter came after a September escalation by the U.S. government that blocked chip suppliers from providing Huawei with the smartphone chipsets it needs. Huawei was then forced to turn to the chipset hoard it had accumulated after the initial sanctions, and to sell-off its Honor smartphone brand.

Huawei saw double-digit sales shortfalls around the globe throughout 2020, but China was a bright spot, with revenues growing its home market by 15.4 percent to $89 billion. And while none of its business segments reported a full year of decline, some came close. The firm’s carrier business, which builds cellular data networks, grew just 0.2 percent in 2020.

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Comments (2)

2 responses to “Huawei Grew in 2020 Despite U.S. Sanctions”

  1. vladimir

    Talking of unfair competition. They were making the best smartphones on the market, by wide margins

    • Paul Thurrott

      Yep. They were also poised to become the number one smartphone maker in the world. Now they're number six, and they'll fall to seven this year.
  2. johnh3

    Huawei have a tough time. Even in my country (Sweden) where phone operators had it, they now seems to avoid the latest Huawei phones. Xiaomi on the other hand growing fast.

    And Apple and Samsung got a fast grip on the market in general.