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Chinese tech giant Huawei says profits more than doubled in 2023

Huawei is one of the most prominent tech companies in China
Huawei is one of the most prominent tech companies in China - Copyright AFP/File PAU BARRENA
Huawei is one of the most prominent tech companies in China - Copyright AFP/File PAU BARRENA

Chinese tech giant Huawei on Friday said its profits more than doubled in 2023, as it ramps up efforts to bounce back a year that saw the company apparently defy US sanctions with the release of a high-end smartphone.

The Shenzhen-based company has been at the centre of an intense standoff between China and the United States — Washington has warned that its equipment could be used for espionage by the Chinese government, an allegation Huawei denies.

Sanctions since 2019 have cut the firm’s access to US-made components and technologies, forcing it to diversify its growth strategy.

Last year, Huawei said it generated a profit of 87 billion yuan ($12 billion), more than double 2022’s 35.6 billion yuan but short of its record profit of 113.7 billion yuan in 2021.

Revenues also surged by 9.6 percent.

“We’ve been through a lot over the past few years,” Rotating Chairman Ken Hu said Friday.

“But through one challenge after another, we’ve managed to grow.”

The rise in profits follows a year in which the firm raised eyebrows in Washington with the release of its Mate 60 Pro smartphone.

Powered by an advanced domestically produced chip, it sparked debate about whether US attempts to curb China’s access to semiconductor technologies had been effective.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in December told Bloomberg the development was “deeply concerning”.

And the Mate 60 Pro has shown the ability to bite into key competitor Apple’s profits in China, analysts cited by Bloomberg have said.

Huawei remains the world’s leading equipment manufacturer for 5G, the fifth generation of mobile internet, and has been involved in infrastructure projects in many countries.

The United States has sought to convince its allies to ban Huawei from their 5G networks, arguing that Beijing could use the group’s products to monitor communications and data traffic.

In June last year, the European Commission ruled that Chinese telecom equipment suppliers — including Huawei — posed a security risk to the EU.

And last month, the French offices of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei were raided on suspicion of “improper behaviour”, though no other details were immediately available.

In response to the US curbs, Beijing has repeatedly slammed what it characterises as Washington’s “abuse of the concept of national security to hobble Chinese companies” and “discriminatory and unfair practices”.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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