Huawei’s founder on Monday cut the company’s revenue forecast for 2019 by a sixth and said it would scale back production, as the Chinese telecoms maker grapples with the fallout of the US government’s move to cutting off critical suppliers.
“Over the next two years, the company will reduce production. We estimate we’ll reduce production by $30bn,” said Ren Zhengfei, founder and president of Huawei, speaking at a panel discussion on technology, markets and enterprise in Shenzhen.
“This [calendar] year and next year, our revenues will be around $100bn.”
The new estimates imply that revenue, previously forecast to increase from Rmb721.2bn ($104.2bn) in 2018 to $120bn, would now be broadly flat through 2020, representing a significant downgrade to the company’s growth prospects.
He added that Huawei would “become stronger” after the company had “walked this path”.
Mr Ren also confirmed a Bloomberg report that the company is preparing for a 4 per cent drop in international sales, but maintained that “the China market has strong growth”.
Huawei has been thrown into turmoil after US President Donald Trump in May placed it on a prohibitive “entity list” that bans American companies from selling technology to the Chinese telecoms maker. His administration has also moved to bar US carriers from using Huawei equipment for next-generation 5G networks on national security grounds, and has pressed allies to do the same.
Huawei has said the blacklisting would hit around 1,200 of its US suppliers, including companies that provide the majority of the backbone of the company’s cyber security system.
Mr Ren expressed surprise at the forcefulness of the US restrictions, saying “we didn’t think that the US would attack Huawei with such great strategy and determination…not only attacking our suppliers, we also can’t take part in many international organisations, we can’t increase our cooperation with universities, we can’t use anything with US content”.
However, he insisted that “these things can’t halt our onward march”.
Additional reporting by Qianer Liu in Shenzhen