Dec 31, 2019 - Technology

Huawei ends 2019 with record-high $122 billion in revenue

In this image, two women hang up Happy New Year balloons while working at a Huawei store

A Huawei store in Hangzhou, China on Dec. 12, 2019. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Tuesday that its revenue reached $122 billion in 2019, setting a new record for the company even as it weathers a campaign by the Trump administration to block its global expansion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Many U.S. officials fear that Huawei's telecom equipment could be used by China for surveillance, and that a 5G equipment market dominated by Huawei would give the authoritarian government in Beijing access to massive amounts of data. The company is just one flashpoint in the escalating U.S. confrontation with China.

The big picture: The Commerce Department placed Huawei on its "entity list" in May, blocking U.S. companies from providing the telecom with chips, software and other components over national security concerns.

  • In November, the Trump administration granted waivers to some U.S. companies to sell to Huawei. The blacklisting overall didn't prove to be as harmful as expected, as many U.S. companies assemble chips overseas, the WSJ notes.
  • Huawei had aimed for $130 billion in revenue in 2019, but lowered expectations in August to a sum closer to its 2018 mark — $105 billion. The company's estimated 2019 revenue of 850 billion Chinese yuan, or roughly $122 billion, is unaudited.

What's next: "Survival will be our first priority" in 2020, Huawei’s chairman, Eric Xu, told employees in a New Year's message. Xu expects Huawei to remain on the "entity list" and projects that next year will be difficult, with less rapid growth than the first half of 2019.

Go deeper: Why Huawei is the United States' 5G boogeyman

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