Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, claimed a record profit for 2021 on Monday, defying US sanctions, as CEO Meng Wanzhou made her first public appearance since being released from Canadian detention.
The corporation has found itself in the crossfire of a trade and technological competition between the United States and China, with former President Donald Trump’s administration attempting to cripple it over cybersecurity and espionage worries.
The findings were released in Shenzhen, China’s innovation powerhouse, and marked Meng’s first public appearance since her high-profile return to China after almost three years of house imprisonment in Canada.
Meng, the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the company’s CEO and founder, spent years in Canada resisting extradition to the United States, where she was accused of defrauding HSBC bank by attempting to conceal suspected violations of US sanctions against Iran.
She returned to Canada shortly after two Canadians were released from a Chinese prison, bringing an end to a diplomatic spat that had strained relations between Beijing and Ottawa for years.
As a result of US sanctions aimed at preventing access to essential technologies and supplies, Huawei’s income dropped by roughly 29% to 636.8 billion yuan ($100 billion) last year.
However, the business said that its net earnings increased by 75.9% year on year to 113.7 billion yuan, indicating that the fall caused by US sanctions is moderating.
“Despite a sales reduction in 2021, our capacity to earn a profit and produce cash flows is improving, and we are better equipped to cope with uncertainties,” Meng said in a statement released on Monday.
Even after excluding benefits from the sale of its budget phone brand Honor, the firm owes its profitability to “better product portfolios and more efficient internal processes.”
Because the corporation is not publicly traded, its accounts are not subject to the same audits as those of publicly traded companies.
Since Trump initiated a campaign to constrain Huawei, a provider of telecom networking gear and a smartphone brand, the firm has struggled.
After the United States cut Huawei off from essential components and prohibited it from using Google’s Android services, smartphone sales halted.
Last year, Huawei’s consumer business revenues were 243 billion yuan, down nearly 50% from 2020.
Instead, Huawei has attempted to strengthen other aspects of its company, focussing on the Chinese market and expanding to include enterprise and cloud computing, as well as other 5G-related business categories.
In a speech during the occasion, Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping stated that the company’s capacity to “survive and grow” is dependent on continued development expenditure.
“Our struggle for survival is far from finished,” Guo stated.
“We will continue to invest regardless of what comes our way. Only then will we be able to go forward.”
Last year, the corporation spent 142.7 billion yuan on research and development, accounting for almost 22% of total revenue.