Huawei Chief Predicts Sales Will Flatline After Trump Crackdown

SHANGHAI — The chief executive of Huawei, the Chinese technology giant, said on Monday that he expected the company’s annual revenue to slip this year to about $100 billion as the Trump administration’s crackdown on the firm takes a bite out of its business.

Huawei earned more than $105 billion in sales last year, helped by its fast-growing smartphone business. The company’s chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, said in January that he expected another bumper year in 2019, with sales jumping to $125 billion.

But that was before the United States cut the company off from the American chips, software and other parts that go into its handsets and telecommunication equipment, saying that the firm represented a threat to national security. American officials have long said that Huawei’s products could be used by Beijing to disrupt or sabotage digital communications, charges that the company vehemently rejects.

Washington has taken its case against the Chinese giant to many of its allies overseas, leading governments around the world to reconsider whether the firm should be allowed to build next-generation 5G telecom infrastructure.

In an event on Monday at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Mr. Ren said that he expected sales to be slow this year and next before recovering in 2021.

Huawei executives have said that the company had stockpiled computer chips and electronic components in anticipation that it may one day be unable to purchase them from American suppliers. The company has also said it is developing its own operating system to replace Google’s Android in its handsets. But it remains to be seen whether consumers in Europe, for instance — where Huawei has become a giant smartphone seller — will want to use devices that run on unfamiliar and potentially less-tested software.

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