Huawei sales soar, but bosses admit to ‘difficulties ahead’ after Trump ban

US president Donald Trump’s attempts to force businesses and governments to no longer work with Huawei has had little effect so far, the Chinese tech giant has claimed.

But bosses at the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker did admit they saw “difficulties ahead”.

The comments came as sales jumped 23.2% to 401.3 billion yuan (£47.9 billion) in the first six months of the year compared with a year ago, with smartphone shipments up 24%. Around 118 million Huawei smartphones were sold worldwide.

Huawei sales jump
Donald Trump imposed a ban on Huawei from selling products to US businesses over security fears (Brian Lawless / PA)

In May, the US put Huawei on a so-called “Entity List” – banning US companies from buying technology and equipment from the firm.

The Trump administration has warned that the technology could be used by the Chinese authorities for intelligence gathering – something Huawei has denied.

“The US government’s attacks on Huawei have made our mission clearer,” said Liang Hua, chairman of Huawei.

He added: “The Entity List ban has had some impact on our development, but the scope is controllable.”

There had been a “reduction in consumer trust”, but the company is now at 80% of smartphone sales prior to the ban, having initially fallen 40% before recovering, the company said. Some impact had been felt on overseas smartphone sales, as well as smart computing and its server business.

Security experts have been particularly fearful that Huawei’s influence is set to grow, because it makes the technology needed for 5G rollouts, which are taking place around the world.

Australia, New Zealand and Japan have restricted the company’s access to 5G rollouts in their countries, but others, including the UK, have allowed the firm to bid for contracts.

Since first announcing the ban, Mr Trump has softened his stance after meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping, allowing US tech firms to work with Huawei.

Analysts believe the ban could be used as leverage in the ongoing trade war between the US and China.

In China, Huawei consolidated its lead by taking a 38.2% market share in the three months that ended in June as major rivals lost ground, according to a new report from research firm Canalys.

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