Chinese telecom giant Huawei announced on Dec. 31 that its annual revenue is expected to have declined by nearly 30 percent in 2021, as the company continues to be affected by U.S. sanctions.
Huawei’s revenue is expected to be 634 billion yuan ($99 billion) for 2021, the company said. That’s a 29 percent drop from the 891.4 billion yuan ($140 billion) the company reported in 2020.
Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping disclosed the revenue slide in a New Year’s Eve letter to employees. But the letter also states that the company’s overall performance for the year was “in line with their forecasts.”
Huawei, once the world’s largest maker of telecom gear and second-largest smartphone maker, has been battered by U.S. sanctions that barred the company from using Alphabet Inc.’s Android operating system for its new smartphones, among other critical U.S.-originated technology.
The company has come under intense scrutiny in the United States over concerns that its products could be used by the Chinese regime for spying or to disrupt communications networks. U.S. officials have cited the company’s close ties to the regime, as well as Chinese law, which compels companies to cooperate with intelligence agencies when asked.
The restrictions have badly hurt Huawei’s handset business, Eric Xu, another of the firm’s rotating chairmen, said in September. The company’s revenue for the third quarter was 38 percent lower than a year earlier. The first three quarters’ revenue was down by almost a third year-on-year.
“2022 will come with its fair share of challenges,” the letter reads. “But we will keep working closely with our global partners to overcome the difficulties we face, improve business performance, and strengthen our foundations.”
The company will continue focusing on information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, according to the letter.
Guo said Huawei will also continue to attract talents worldwide, offering “top talent top pay.”
Huawei also saw the return of its financial chief, Meng Wanzhou, in 2021. Meng, the daughter of the company’s founder, was held in Canada after being arrested at Vancouver International Airport in 2018 on a U.S. warrant charging her with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC Holdings about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.
After reaching a deal with U.S. prosecutors, Meng was allowed to return to China on Sept. 24. That night, the Chinese regime freed two Canadians who had been held captive in the country for almost three years.
Reuters and Cathy He contributed to this report.