BEIJING – Survival will be the “first priority” for Huawei in 2020, the Chinese tech giant said on Tuesday after its sales projections were hit hard in the wake of a ban by the United States.
“Any risk that undermines our business continuity must be treated as a matter of life-and-death,” Huawei’s chairman Eric Xu said in his New Year message.
“We need to race against time and cast away all manner of unrealistic hope,” Xu said.
He said the company’s sales revenue saw an increase of 18 percent year-on-year in 2019 and is estimated to be at 850 billion yuan ($121.79 billion), much lower than its initial projections.
Xu asked his colleagues to take the US measures against the company as “a great opportunity for us to motivate ourselves and build up some muscle.”
Describing 2019 as “an extraordinary year,” Xu said: “Despite concerted efforts by the US government to keep us down, we’ve made it out the other side and continue to create value for our customers.”
He said Huawei would continue to be on the US entity list next year and warned that it would not grow as rapidly as in the first half of 2019.
“It’s going to be a difficult year for us. We will have nothing to rely on but the hard work of our people, as well as the ongoing trust and support of our customers and partners.”
In May, Washington had put Huawei on a business blacklist of firms amid alleged threats from the company’s 5G network on its national security.
However, American companies can continue doing business with the Chinese firm until February after US President Donald Trump allowed a new extension on Nov. 18.
Xu dismissed Washington’s security concerns and said compliance with all applicable laws and regulations had always been “the tone at the top and the foundation of our global operations.”
The telecom major has also faced snooping allegations from the US and some foreign countries over its close tie-up with the Chinese government.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal, in its report said that Huawei had received $75 billion in state support and was under special protection by the Chinese government.
Huawei denied having received the reported amount and said that Beijing gave them the same treatment as the rest of the private firms operating in the country.
“Strengthening cybersecurity and user privacy protection is at the absolute top of our agenda, and we will continue to adhere to all related laws and regulations in the markets where we operate,” Xu said.