China’s Huawei profit up 25% in 2018 despite US pressure

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China’s Huawei’s net profit grew 25 percent last year, the telecom giant said on Friday, as it vowed to “shake off outside distractions” amid a global US campaign to blacklist the company over espionage fears.

Net profit rose to 59.3 billion yuan ($8.8 billion) last year, the company said in a statement.

“Moving forward, we will do everything we can to shake off outside distractions, improve management and make progress towards our strategic goals,” rotating chairman Guo Ping said.

The company said overall revenue grew 19.5 percent while its consumer business surged 45 percent.

However, the firm’s carrier business, which supplies telecom infrastructure to much of the world, slipped 1.3 percent during the year after a 2.5 percent expansion in 2017.

Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for next-generation 5G mobile networks that will bring near-instantaneous connectivity for smartphones but has encountered pushback in some Western markets over fears Beijing could gain access to critical infrastructure.

The company also is grappling with the December arrest of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng was arrested in Canada at Washington’s behest over charges that she and Huawei circumvented US sanctions against Iran.

Two Huawei affiliates also have been charged this year with stealing trade secrets from telecom group T-Mobile in a separate case.

Guo reiterated Huawei’s insistence that it poses no security risk, while hinting that its market dominance left the company a crucial player in the global 5G rollout.

“We are confident that the companies that choose to work with Huawei will be the most competitive in the 5G era,” he said.

“Countries that choose to work with Huawei will gain an advantage for the next wave of growth in the digital economy.”