Huawei’s first quarter revenue tumbles as smartphone sales plunge

Huawei’s smartphone business has struggled under U.S. sanctions that restrict it from buying chips and other components from key suppliers.

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BEIJING — Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei announced Thursday that first quarter revenue fell by nearly 14% from a year ago, while its profit margin more than halved.

“Our consumer business was heavily impacted, and our [information and communications technology] infrastructure business experienced steady growth,” Ken Hu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, said in a statement. “In 2022, we still face a challenging and complicated business environment.”

The company reported 131 billion yuan ($20.63 billion) in revenue for the first quarter. That’s down by 13.9% from the same period last year, and a more than 27% decline from the fourth quarter of 2021.

First quarter profit margin of 4.3% was less than half the 11.1% reported a year earlier.

Hu said the quarterly results were in line with the company’s expectations and that Huawei has increased its investment in research and development.

Huawei’s smartphone business has struggled under U.S. sanctions. The Trump administration put the company on a blacklist that restricts it from buying critical components such as advanced semiconductors from U.S. suppliers.

Smartphone sales in China across different brands fell by 14% in the first quarter from a year ago, according to Counterpoint Research.

Huawei logged the worst decline out of seven brands, ranking sixth by market share and with sales plunging by 64.2% from a year earlier, the report showed. The company’s smartphone sales in China also fell by 12% from the prior quarter.

Apple was the only other company on the list to post a quarter-on-quarter sales decline in China, down by 23%, according to Counterpoint. However, the iPhone maker’s China sales still grew by 4.4% in the first quarter from a year ago.

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