COVERAGE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL ANALYST SUMMIT 2020, SHENZHEN: Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping (pictured) acknowledged difficulty in winning global contracts since being added to a US trade blacklist, with a $12 billion gap in 2019 revenue compared with its original target as its growth rate slowed.

The company focused on “fixing the holes” in its operation exposed by the US action and boosted R&D spending by 30 per cent. He said its supply chain and operations had not been disrupted despite the lower sales.

A US Department of Commerce move on 15 May to restrict access to components produced overseas using US software and technology would inevitably further impact Huawei’s business, the executive said: “If the US government persists in attacking Huawei, what will that bring to the world?”

He explained Huawei is studying and evaluating the latest move, but noted uncertainty around this and other matters made it impossible to provide a financial forecast for 2020.

But, he noted the challenges of the past 12 months helped “toughen our skin”, with survival becoming the keyword and the company “confident about finding a solution soon”.

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Guo said Huawei is committed to a strategy of diversification after purchasing $18.7 billion-worth of goods from US companies in 2019, as it looks to build a more competitive supply chain. “We have taken digital technology out of the ivory tower and accelerated global adoption. We deployed more than 1,500 network contracts in more than 70 countries.”

In the long run, he said moves against leading companies in other countries will shake confidence in using US technology, escalate conflict in global industries and, ultimately, hurt US interests.

“We now live a highly integrated globalised world, and this process shouldn’t and will not likely be reversed. As we enter into a more intelligent world, we see more opportunities for cooperation than competition.”