Huawei urges US to drop 'loser's attitude' as carrier business revenue slips

Huawei reported a slower pace of profit growth for 2018 as its network business saw its first drop in revenue in two years, overshadowing a robust 45% jump in its smartphone unit.

The Huawei logo stands on a Huawei office building in Dongguan in China’s southern Guangdong province on 18 December 2018. Picture: AFP

HONG KONG - China’s Huawei Technologies called on Washington to drop the “loser’s attitude” and once again rubbished US allegations its gear could be used by Beijing for spying, as its network business weakened amid mounting global scrutiny.

“The US government has a loser’s attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei,” Guo Ping, rotating chairman of the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and No.3 maker of smartphones, said on Friday.

“I hope the US can adjust its attitude,” Guo said at a press briefing that was attended by more than 100 journalists from across the world.

The US embassy in China declined to comment.

Huawei reported a slower pace of profit growth for 2018 as its network business saw its first drop in revenue in two years, overshadowing a robust 45% jump in its smartphone unit.

Huawei’s outlook has come under a cloud over the past year with the United States voicing concerns that its equipment could be used for espionage. Washington has also urged its allies to ban Huawei from building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

The latest blow for the company came on Thursday when Britain rebuked it for failing to fix long-standing security flaws in its mobile network equipment and revealed new “significant technical issues”.

For 2018, the Shenzen-based firm reported a net profit of $9 billion, up 25% from a year ago, versus a 28% rise in 2017. Revenue from its carrier business fell 1.3% to 294 billion yuan, which it blamed on telecommunications industry investment cycles.

However, the surge in its consumer business sales to a record 348.9 billion yuan, driven by demand for its premium smartphone models such as the P series and Mate series, helped push global revenue to above $100 billion for the first time.

Its total revenue rose nearly 20% to about 721 billion yuan, marking the fastest pace of growth in two years.