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'We're back on track,' says Huawei handset chief

What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, declares jubilant Richard Yu.

Robert Clark

January 5, 2024

2 Min Read
Huawei logo sign at event
(Source: Karlis Dambrans on Flickr)

After four tough years, Huawei says it's turned the corner, reporting a 9% hike in revenue for 2023.

The key to the rebound is its device business, which beat expectations and weak global demand. Most famously – or infamously – Huawei blew a hole in US sanctions last year by building a flagship phone with domestic-built 5G chips.

Pre-sanctions, Huawei's handsets, laptops and smart watches were its biggest line of business, accounting for more than half of sales. The company has since made progress in growing its enterprise and cloud services, but they're still a small part of the total. 

The handset unit, with its strong brand, ardent customer base and hugely popular new flagship phones, appears poised once more to become its biggest growth driver.  

Certainly Richard Yu, CEO of the terminal division, struck a jubilant note in his New Year message this week. Using the military-inflected language commonly employed by Huawei, he praised employees as an "iron army that can stand the test and fight tough battles."

"Now that we are finally back on track, what doesn't kill us will only make us stronger!" he wrote. "In the past few years, facing rounds of sanctions and suppression, the tenacious terminal soldiers did not waste the opportunity of this crisis. Instead, they burst out with greater energy."

Related:Partner Report - 5G in South-Eastern Asia - Essential insights into the future of 5G across the region.

'Glory of the iron army'

"We worked together and became more courageous as we fought, breaking through the tight siege and defending the glory of the iron army," Yu continued.

Yu, who also carries the titles of Huawei managing director and chairman of the smart car solutions business unit, thanked customers who had stuck by the firm and had lined up in long queues to buy Huawei products. 

He said the new Mate 60 and Mate X5 phones had won over consumers with their satellite calling, strong Kunlun Glass, and powerful imaging and camera functions.

Yu called on staff in Huawei's domestic smartphone business to "seize the opportunity and launch a comprehensive strategic counterattack," while urging those in unnamed "key countries" to build high-end brand awareness.

Looking ahead, he said Huawei would build and apply AI capabilities for four scenarios – personal, office, travel and home. He revealed that Huawei's Hongmeng OS was now running on 700 million devices but cautioned that 2024 would be a critical year for the just-launched native Hongmeng platform.

"Huawei must accelerate the development of various Hongmeng native applications and focus on winning the two most difficult battles – the technology base and third-party ecology," he said.

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Asia

About the Author(s)

Robert Clark

Contributing Editor, Special to Light Reading

Robert Clark is an independent technology editor and researcher based in Hong Kong. In addition to contributing to Light Reading, he also has his own blog,  Electric Speech (http://www.electricspeech.com). 

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