Huawei forecasts 9% revenue growth in 2023 as smartphones surge

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies expects to report revenue exceeding 700 billion yuan ($98.5 billion) for 2023, according to comments from rotating chairman Ken Hu in an internal new year message seen by Reuters.

The figure indicates around 9% year-over-year revenue growth from the 642.3 billion yuan reported in 2022.

The forecast offers further evidence that Huawei is rebounding after U.S. sanctions starting in 2019 crippled some of its business lines by restricting access to critical global technologies such as advanced chips.

“Thanks to our partners across the value chain for standing with us through thick and thin. And I’d also like to thank every member of the Huawei team for embracing the struggle – for never giving up,” Hu said.

“After years of hard work, we’ve managed to weather the storm. And now we’re pretty much back on track.”

In the message sent to staff, Hu said Huawei’s device business segment, which includes its smartphone business, had performed better than expected in 2023.

In a surprising move in August, Huawei launched its Mate60 series of smartphones, which are believed to be powered by a domestically developed chipset. The release was widely viewed as marking Huawei’s comeback into the high-end smartphone market after years of struggling under U.S. sanctions.

Huawei’s smartphone shipments surged 83% in October year-on-year, helping the overall Chinese smartphone market to grow 11% over the same period, according to Counterpoint.

Looking ahead to 2024, Huawei said in the letter the device business would be one of the major business lines it would focus on for expansion.

“Our device business needs to double down on its commitment to developing best-in-class products and building a high-end brand with a human touch,” the letter said.

Still, Huawei acknowledged in the letter that it faces significant challenges.

“Geopolitical and economic uncertainties abound, while technology restrictions and trade barriers continue to have an impact on the world,” Hu noted.

To tackle these challenges, Hu said Huawei would focus on strengthening the efficiency of its business operations. This included initiatives to “streamline HQ, simplify management, and ensure consistent policy, while making adjustments where needed.”

($1 = 7.1066 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Yelin Mo and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates)