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Huawei defies domestic downturn to increase Q1 device sales

Huawei says it increased handset revenue and shipments in China in the first quarter, defying a downturn in its home market.

Richard Yu, the head of Huawei's consumer business unit, said revenue was up slightly over last year, with retail shipments of many models up by more than 70%.

Other devices such as PCs, tablets, CPE and routers had experienced substantial growth during the epidemic, with PCs and tablets increasing by as much as 100%-200% in the first quarter, Yu told local news site C114.

However, he said he expected a year-on-year decline in revenue in the first half and an improved second half.

The consumer unit is now Huawei's biggest, accounting for 54% of total sales last year. (See Huawei gloomy about 2020 as US sanctions take toll and COVID-19 threatens.)

Across the China market, vendors reported shipments of 14.1 million 5G devices in the quarter, despite a slump in total handset sales.

According to the China Information and Communications Technology Institute (CAICT), 48.95 million devices shipped, down 36% year-on-year. Domestic brands such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo accounted for 88% of all handsets sold.


Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading.


The industry reported a slight improvement in demand in March as the economy started to reopen, with 21.8 million devices shipped, including 6.2 million 5G phones.

CAICT said 39 new handset models were launched in March, including 24 5G mobile phones.

At the end of February, China Mobile reported 15.4 million 5G customers and China Telecom 10.7 million. The third operator, China Unicom, has not yet disclosed its 5G numbers.

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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