After US sanctions, Huawei turns to new businesses to boost sales
Six months after the Trump administration dealt a crushing blow to Huawei Technologies Co.’s smartphone business, the Chinese telecommunications giant is turning to less glamorous alternatives that may eventually offset the decline of its biggest revenue contributor.
Among its newest customers is a fish farm in eastern China that’s twice the size of New York’s Central Park. The farm is covered with tens of thousands of solar panels outfitted with Huawei’s inverters to shield its fish from excessive sunlight while generating power. About 370 miles to the west in coal-rich Shanxi province, wireless sensors and cameras deep beneath the earth monitor oxygen levels and potential machine malfunctions in mine pit — all supplied by the tech titan. And next month, a shiny new electric car featuring its lidar sensor will debut at China’s largest auto show.
Once the world’s largest smartphone maker, the Chinese corporation has seen a series of U.S. sanctions almost obliterate its lucrative consumer business. With the Biden administration keeping up the pressure on Huawei, billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei has directed the company to grow its roster of enterprise clients in transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries. Huawei is the world’s leading supplier of inverters and it’s now banking on growing those sales alongside its cloud services and data analytics solutions to help the 190,000-employee business survive.
“It’s very unlikely that the U.S. will remove us from the Entity List,” Ren said last month at the opening of a mining innovation laboratory partly sponsored by Huawei. “Right now, we just want to work harder and keep looking for new opportunities to survive.”
Ren said the new initiatives may offset the drop in its handset business “more or less within this year,” though the company declined to provide specific figures. Its consumer unit generated revenue of 256 billion yuan ($39 billion) in the first six months of 2020, more than half of the company’s total. It managed “marginal growth” in sales and profit last year, thanks to record 5G base station orders and strong smartphone sales in the first half…..read more
Source: Al Jazeera