Huawei sees strong sales despite Trump blacklisting

huawei logo at mwc 19
Huawei reported a big jump in revenues and smartphone sales in first nine months of 2019 even though the Trump Administration put the Chinese company on an entity list in May for threatening national security. (Huawei)

Huawei announced on Wednesday a 24% increase in revenues for the first nine months of 2019 despite a U.S. blacklisting of its products that began in May.

Huawei’s smartphone shipments for the first nine months were more than 185 million units, an increase of 26% over the same period in 2018, the Chinese company said in a release.

The world's largest telecom equipment maker also said it has signed more than 60 commercial contracts with leading global carriers for 5G network gear and shipped more than 400,000 5G Massive MIMO active antenna units globally.

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As of Oct. 1, the company said more than 700 cities and 228 Fortune Global 500 companies (including 58 of the top 100) had selected Huawei as their partner for “digital transformation.”

That 24% increase in revenues was 610 billion yuan, or more than $82 billion, representing a profit margin of 8.7%. Huawei didn’t report its net profit for the nine months and didn’t show any numbers for the third quarter, which would be the quarter most affected by the U.S. blacklisting.

Based on previous disclosures, however, the company’s third quarter revenues can be tabulated to show an increase for the quarter of nearly 27% or nearly $30 billion, a pace faster than the first half of the year.

Huawei is a private company, and its quarterly results are not audited. It can report only the numbers it wishes.

The U.S. Commerce Department put Huawei on an Entity List in May, citing national security concerns. The blacklisting has meant U.S. technology can’t be exported to Huawei without a special license, which many companies have sought. The White House has granted some companies the special licenses, according to an unnamed source in a Wall Street Journal report last week.

President Trump’s administration has urged foreign allies to reject Huawei’s 5G gear, but Germany said it wouldn’t single out any vendor for exclusion, including Huawei.

RELATED: Germany won’t ban Huawei from 5G networks--report

The entity listing has meant Huawei had to launch its Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro smartphones without Google's Play Store apps and services, but Huawei has developed its own workarounds that aren't expected to hinder sales in China. 

RELATED: Tech investors worry over impeachment inquiry, China trade

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