Despite growing international scrutiny and pressure, Huawei posted impressive quarterly revenue gains.
According to a new press release, Huawei’s revenue in the first quarter of 2019 grew 39 percent year-on-year to reach $26.78 billion USD.
The Chinese firm — the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker — also said its net profit margin was around 8 percent for the quarter, which it added was slightly higher than the same period last year. Huawei did not disclose its actual net profit.
The company also said that by the end of March it had shipped more than 70,000 5G base stations globally and 59 million smartphones. In the second quarter last year Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s number two supplier of smartphones and now has industry leader Samsung Electronics of South Korea in its sights.
Compared to Samsung’s results released earlier in April, showing the “steepest Q1 profit slide in 4 years” and broadly flat smartphone sales, Huawei’s aggressive claims that they have Samsung in their sights should be taken seriously. If Samsung smartphone sales remain under pressure and Huawei maintains this level of growth, the contest for top spot will be very interesting by year-end. Huawei execs have in the past set 2020 as the target for overtaking Samsung.
Huawei’s financial results come at a time of heightened suspicion against the Shenzhen-based company, as the United States, among others, have intensified a campaign alleging the company’s telecommunications equipment could be used for espionage. The U.S. has urged a number of its allies to ban Huawei from taking part in the construction of next-generation 5G networks.
For its part, Huawei has repeatedly has denied allegations of spying and espionage, noting that the US government has never offered any evidence supporting such claims and, instead, hacked Huawei’s servers and stole its email and source codes. The Chinese tech giant also accused the US of blocking it from 5G markets across the globe.
Huawei said in the press release that 2019 “will be a year of large-scale deployment of 5G around the world” and its carrier business “has unprecedented opportunities for growth.” By the end of March, Huawei had signed 40 commercial contracts for 5G with leading global carriers.