Huawei rotating chair Eric Xu (pictured) kicked off the company’s annual analyst summit in Shenzhen underlining a near ubiquitous focus on all things AI and outlined a broad strategy designed to improve the competitiveness of its products and operations, without sharing specifics or targets.

Xu explained the company is pursing a number of initiatives across multiple tracks to take advantage of new opportunities in AI. In addition to driving advancements in AI to build “thriving ecosystems for shared success”, he said Huawei is actively integrating the technology into its internal management to improve operating efficiency.

The company aims to “revolutionise network operations and maintenance” with its autonomous driving network offering, but Xu didn’t provide an update on the ongoing initiative. He added it is working to upgrade its Celia smart assistant, launched in 2018, which is connected to its evolving Pangu AI models developed for a number of sectors.

With the company facing tight restrictions on the import of advanced chips and other equipment as well as curbs in many western markets on its networking gear, Xu avoided talking about its core network carrier group and any mention of handsets now sporting high-end domestic chips.

Despite broad trade sanctions, Huawei last August secured 7nm processors for its Mate 60 Pro from state-owned Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, raising concerns among US officials if the Chinese chipmaker bypassed export controls.

The downsized event, the 21st  edition, excluded media for the first time this year, but brought in some 500 analysts, researchers and other guests from across the world.

The company’s net profit in 2023 jumped 144.5 per cent year-on-year to CNY86.9 billion ($12 billion), with revenue rising 9.6 per cent to CNY704.2 billion, driven by a 17.3 per cent increase in consumer revenue to CNY251.5 billion.

Last year the company combined revenue from its carrier network business and enterprise unit into a single figure. In 2022, its carrier group accounted for 44.2 per cent of total revenue.