Huawei CEO says firm could take $30 billion hit over next two years

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While 2019 is only just past the halfway mark, the news story of the year may already be unfolding as Huawei’s ongoing battle with the United States could cost the Chinese company quite a bit.

This according to Huawei CEO and founder, Ren Zhengfei, who noted that the current restrictions being imposed by the US could cost the company as much as $30 billion in profit over the next two years. This year in particular will prove costly, with revenues falling by a massive $100 billion, according to the CEO.

Despite the huge losses projected, Zhengfei is defiantly optimistic. “By 2020 we will start to regain our growth momentum. We will do a lot of switching over and will take time to ramp up, but after that we will be stronger,” he said while speaking with Mobile World Live.

Part of Zhengfei’s confidence steams from the amount of spending that Huawei is putting into research and development, as he states that the company has no plans to limit their investments in this regard and plan to use it as an opportunity to “reinvent themselves.”

Precisely what that reinvention will entail is unclear, but already the US blacklisting is beginning to have a significantly negative effect, as Zhengfei concedes that smartphone sales have dropped by 40 percent since the restrictions were first enforced.

Those declining figures do not seem to faze the Huawei founder, however, as he notes that, “when we were founded, times were much more difficult.”

Whether Huawei can indeed bounce back from United States’ restrictions remains to be seen, especially as this blacklisting extends far beyond simply being able to sell smartphones, with their being implications for the rollout of 5G, the firm’s notebooks, as well as trade wars between the US and China.

Either way it seems like Huawei is preparing for the worst, having already trademarked a name for its own operating system, and seemingly gearing up to launch it later this year.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.