Huawei issued an upbeat annual New Year’s message, with rotating chairman Eric Xu claiming business is back to normal and estimating 2022 revenue was flat year-on-year despite continued trade sanctions by the US.

“In 2022 we successfully pulled ourselves out of crisis mode. US restrictions are now our new normal,” Xu said.

Revenue for 2022 is expected to be in line with forecast, hitting CNY636.9 billion ($92.6 billion) compared to CNY636.8 billion a year earlier.

Cloud push
Xu highlighted rapid growth in its cloud division, adding the cloud “needs to become the foundation – and enabler – of digital transformation” for both Huawei and vertical industries.

He noted that while the macro environment is “rife with uncertainty”, the company is certain digitalisation and decarbonisation are the way forward and where future opportunities lie.

With external restrictions a fact of life and its business now stabilised, Xu explained 2023 will be a crucial year and it will need to be “proactive about improving the business environment and more effectively managing risks”.

The company vowed to keep R&D investment at a high level this year. R&D expenditure in the first three quarters of 2022 reached CNY110 billion, or 24.7 per cent of total revenue, up from 22 per cent in 2021, when spending totalled CNY142.7 billion.

In late November, Huawei and rival ZTE were hit by expanded Federal Communications Commission restrictions blocking the sale of electronic products and services in the US. While the new measures expand the scope of existing bans from handsets and network equipment to enterprise products including routers and switches, the impact on Huawei will be minimal as the US accounts for less than 5 per cent of its total sales.