A senior executive in Huawei’s consumer unit acknowledged the company’s ongoing woes will impact its goal of becoming the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

In a keynote speech at CES Asia 2019, Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said the company had been on track to overtake Samsung as the global number one in the fourth quarter of this year. Reuters reported the executive said it now believes “this process may take longer”.

As recently as April, Huawei’s consumer business chief Richard Yu suggested it would become the biggest smartphone vendor this year.

While most of the scrutiny Huawei is under centres on its infrastructure unit, the devices business was recently dragged into the issue following the imposition of export restrictions on US technology, impacting its relationship with companies including Google (Android), Qualcomm and Arm.

Huawei pledged support for its existing device users, but it is far from clear how its relationship with Google in particular will evolve, which could dampen demand from consumers along with operators stocking Huawei smartphones in their range. It is an issue impacting all of the company’s device activities outside of China.

Recent reports suggest the company is already adjusting its production activities.

Prior to the disruption, Huawei had been outperforming the market, as Samsung’s shipment figures came under pressure.

While it is too early to tell what impact this had on its rivals, Samsung is well positioned in term of capacity, channel and brand to capitalise on its Chinese rival’s woes.