Huawei overseas smartphone sales down 40%, says founder

Huawei overseas smartphone sales down 40%, says founder

FILE PHOTO: Huawei's new Honor 20 smartphone is seen at a product launch event in London
FILE PHOTO: Huawei's new Honor 20 smartphone at a product launch event in London, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

SHENZHEN: The founder of Huawei said on Monday (Jun 17) that the embattled Chinese telecom giant's overseas smartphone sales have tumbled by 40 per cent this year as it grapples with a US push to clip the company's wings. 

"Yes, (sales) have fallen 40 per cent," Ren Zhengfei said when asked about media reports that it was seeing such a drop.

Bloomberg earlier reported that Huawei was preparing for a 40 per cent to 60 per cent decline in international smartphone shipments.

The Chinese technology company is looking at options that include pulling the latest model of its marquee overseas smartphone, the Honor 20, according to the article, which cited people familiar with the matter.

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The device will begin selling in parts of Europe, including Britain and France, on Jun 21, the report said. Executives will be monitoring the launch and may cut off shipments if the sales are poor, it said.

Marketing and sales managers at the tech giant are internally expecting a drop in volumes of anywhere between 40 million to 60 million smartphones this year, the report said.

In order to offset overseas decline, Huawei is aiming to grab up to half of China's smartphone market in 2019, Bloomberg said. The company did not respond to a Reuters request seeking comment.

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The US government put Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment company, on a trade blacklist in May that bars US suppliers from doing business with it because of what Washington says are national security concerns.

At the time, Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei said the restrictions "may slow, but only slightly" the company's growth.

A similar US ban on China's ZTE Corp, almost crippled business for Huawei's smaller rival early last year before the curb was lifted.

The company's woes are feeding into trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. President Donald Trump has said US complaints against Huawei could be resolved within the framework of any trade deal.

The ban has been eased slightly to allow a temporary general license that lets Huawei purchase US goods.

However, Broadcom sent a shockwave through the global chipmaking industry last week when it forecast that the US-China trade tensions and the Huawei ban would knock US$2 billion off this year's sales.

Source: Agencies/ic/aa

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