Huawei’s rotating chairman, Eric Xu has said that the company expects 2021 to continue to be a challenging for as the impact of US sanctions continue to linger on.
Speaking at this year’s Huawei Global Analyst Summit, Xu admitted that the “unwarranted” US sanctions has undermined Huawei, saying that the damage has been felt across the entire technology sector.
“We will continue to see a lot of attention on Huawei in 2021 and believe it will be a challenging year,” he added.
He express the hope that the US, under the leadership of Joe Biden, will reconsider its position on Huawei and help to restore trust and cooperation across the ecosystem as soon as as possible.
Xu however noted that, in spite of the negative impact of US sanctions, Huawei’s 2020 performance was in line with expectations, aided by moves to address supply chain continuity and heavy R&D investment of CNY142 billion ($21.7 billion), 15.9 per cent of total revenue.
He said Huawei plans to strengthen its software capabilities with increased investments, to increase business resilience and weather the storm in 2021.
Xu argued that the disrupted trust in the industry, due to unfounded security issues raised by US and its allies, with more countries worrying about supply chain security, poses a potential risk of trade restrictions, which can impact semiconductor price.
“In the coming years, higher costs for the semiconductor industry is something we’re pretty sure of,” Xu said.
He therefore called for the restoration trust and cooperation across the value chain otherwise to prevent any increase semiconductors prices.
Meanwhile, Huawei is currently pushing aggressively to bring its Harmony OS, which currently runs on smart displays and wearables, to smartphones, with 20 handset vendors and 260 app developers collaborating to build an ecosystem.
Huawei expects 40 mainstream brands to run the OS on 100 million devices in 2021.
Xu clarified its position on its work on connected vehicles, explaining it is focused on delivering intelligent components to auto makers. “As an ICT company, we want to provide ICT capabilities for future autonomous and electric vehicles. We also hope to create new business models.”
He said its new Huawei Inside brand is partnering with Chinese manufacturers SAIC Motor, Changan Automobile and GAC Group, with the goal of adding more companies in future as part of a $1 billion investment in the sector.
Once self-driving becomes a reality, Xu said Huawei will be able to disrupt all related sectors in the next decade.