Despite tech sanctions, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei grew significantly last year. Business in the private customer sector, with the cloud and in the automotive sector in particular increased noticeably. “We have been through a lot in the past few years. But with one challenge after another, we have managed to grow,” said Chairman Ken Hu in Shenzhen, according to the statement.

In total, the southern Chinese took in around 704.2 billion renminbi (around 90.5 billion euros) – an increase of 9.63 percent compared to the previous year, as the company announced. Net profit rose more than 140 percent to 87 billion renminbi. The company’s performance met expectations, Hu said.

Smartphones are competing with the iPhone in China

In Germany, consumers know Huawei for its smartphones. Private customer business grew by 17.3 percent to the equivalent of 32.3 billion euros. In late summer 2023, the Chinese smartphone Mate 60 made headlines because it had a chip built into it that the Chinese had previously not been able to use due to existing technology sanctions from the USA.

The device clearly competed with Apple’s iPhone in China. In the first six weeks of this year, iPhone sales there fell 24 percent compared to the same period last year, while Huawei’s sales rose 64 percent, analyst firm Counterpoint Research reported in early March.

Automotive and information and communication technology

Huawei is also working on electric cars in China and supplies the software. The automotive sector brought in the equivalent of almost 604 million euros in 2023, but grew the fastest at 128.1 percent, although the comparison basis was lower. The cloud business, which includes artificial intelligence, also generated almost 22 percent more sales at the equivalent of seven billion euros.

In the information and communications technology business, which has traditionally had the highest sales, Huawei earned the equivalent of 46.5 billion euros. This also includes the area for the 5G mobile communications standard. In Germany, Huawei mainly installs its products in the antenna network, but not in the core network, which is considered critical, as the company emphasizes.

The federal government is debating whether to make the core networks in the Federal Republic free of critical components from Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE for fear of espionage. According to Huawei, the Chinese state cannot spy via the antennas because there is no way to evaluate data via them.