Company to face tough times amid telecom sector slowdown in 2018
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd aims to post $102.2 billion in revenue in 2018, up about 9 percent year-on-year, as the Chinese tech giant steps up its push to grow its smartphone and enterprise business amid a slowing telecom equipment industry.
The target, announced at a conference on Thursday, will be the first time that the Shenzhen-based company is looking to top the $30 billion mark. Still, it remains a relatively slower growth rate compared with its performance in 2017.
Last year, its revenue grew about 15 percent to about 300 billion yuan ($93.7 billion)
Specifically, Huawei's consumer business group, which includes smartphones, aims to post $44 billion in revenue in 2018, representing about 20 percent year-on-year growth.
Huawei is already the world's third-largest smartphone vendor, just behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Last year, its consumer business group recorded 236 billion yuan in revenue, up about 30 percent compared with its performance in 2016.
Founded in 1987, Huawei started as a telecom equipmentmaker, whose phenomenal success enabled the company to expand into areas such as smartphones, cloud computing, and smart city projects.
Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecoms industry website Cctime, said: "As global telecom carriers finish building 4G base stations and the plan on 5G telecom infrastructure is yet to begin, telecom equipmentmakers including Huawei are all facing intense pressure.
"Huawei is indeed growing slower, but as long as it maintains relatively steady momentum, and its smartphone businesses make progress in overseas countries, it can survive the downward industry cycle," Xiang said.
Last year, Huawei once again secured its position as the top player in China, the world's largest mobile phone market. It sold 102 million smartphones, with a market share of about 23 percent, data from research company GFK showed.
The robust growth in 2017 gives Huawei a bigger advantage than it did in 2016, with its sales outperforming immediate followers Oppo and Vivo by about 20 million handsets.
But the company recently suffered a blow in the United States, a market it must conquer if it wants to beat Apple and Samsung. Earlier this month, AT&T, the No 2 US wireless carrier, cut a deal to sell the company's smartphones at the last minute. The cancellation means that Huawei is unable to access the majority of local consumers as carrier retail channels account for about 90 percent of smartphones sales in the US.