Huawei reports smallest profit jump in 3 years as US ban takes its toll


Huawei’s 2019 annual report reflects the pitch of the US ban.

Angela Lang/CNET

The US ban on Huawei appears to have taken its toll on its 2019 profits. The Chinese company’s annual report revealed that its net profit for the year was 62.7 billion yuan (around $8.8 billion), which Reuters noted was its lowest increase in three years at 5.6%.

The phone maker’s overall 2019 revenue jumped 19.1% to 858.8 billion yuan (about $121 billion) — it reported revenue growth of 23.2% for the first half of the year last summer, so sales took a slight dip after that.

It expects 2020 to be more challenging, board chairman Liang Hua acknowledged.

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“We will need to further adapt to the long-standing restrictions imposed by the Entity List, while also addressing the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” he wrote.

The company unveiled its flagship P40 phones last week, but those devices are hampered by the lack of Android support.

The US has long alleged that Huawei maintains a tight relationship with the Chinese government, creating fear that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. The Commerce Department blacklisted Huawei following a May 2019 executive order from President Donald Trump that effectively banned the company from US communications networks.

Prior to the P40 launch, Trump administration officials reportedly agreed to new rules to cut off Huawei from global chip suppliers.

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