Huawei revenue growth slows sharply due to coronavirus

Huawei’s explosive growth has nearly come to a halt as the coronavirus crisis and a confrontation between the US and the Chinese Communist Party weighs on the Chinese tech giant.

Huawei’s revenue climbed just 1.4 percent to 182.2 billion yuan (about $25.7 billion) in the first quarter, the company said Tuesday — a meager increase compared to the 39 percent jump reported a year ago. The smartphone maker’s profit margin also shrank to 7.3 percent from roughly 8 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

Huawei said its first-quarter results were “in line with expectations,” acknowledging “tough challenges” such as the coronavirus pandemic, which started in its home base of China. The Trump administration also placed Huawei on a blacklist last May over national security concerns, a move that limited the sale of American-made goods to the company.

“The growth rate has slowed, but this is also a resilient performance in the face of both the entity list and the coronavirus we are facing at this moment,” company vice president Victor Zhang said in a Tuesday statement.

Huawei did not disclose its net profit or the number of smartphones it shipped in the quarter, metrics that it has included in previous financial reports. The company reported shipping 59 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2019 and 240 million through all of last year.

Huawei has said that this year would be its toughest yet as the US pushes other countries to keep the company out of its 5G wireless networks. Rotating chairman Eric Xu warned last month that the “external environment will only get more complicated going forward.”

With Post wires

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