Huawei struggling under restrictions seeks new opportunities
Huawei is seeking to diversify its offerings as its major products — network equipment and smartphones — face challenges as a result of sanctions and other restrictions.
Executives from the Shenzhen-based manufacturer addressed the company's business strategy and reviewed last year's financial performance during a press conference on Tuesday.
One of the key initiatives is to extend its offerings beyond network equipment to include components for solar panels and electric vehicle charging systems.
"As an ICT technology provider, Huawei aims to expand the development of the low-carbon ICT industry with our products, such as solar panel inverters, EV charging products," said Sun Luyuan, CEO of Huawei Korea, defining digital transformation and carbon neutrality as major trends.
To capitalize on Korean efforts to digitalize internal corporate systems, Huawei looks to provide a set of services required for the transition.
"On top of 5G technologies, Huawei offers products and solution in various fields, such as optical transmission, digital power, IP network, data storage and data center energy devices," the CEO said. "We hope that we could enhance and expand our cooperation with Korea's mobile carriers and vertical industry customers and help their journey on digital transformation."
The shift came as the tech company has had trouble expanding market share in network equipment after the U.S. government took measure to cut the Chinese company off from markets and technologies, citing security threat.
All of major telecom operators in Korea — SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ - deploy Huawei equipment for fixed-line networks, but SK Telecom and KT excluded Huawei when selecting vendors for 5G wireless networks in 2018. LG U+ stuck with Huawei despite the pressure from the U.S.
Top U.S. intelligence chiefs said in February, 2018 that Huawei and another Chinese tech company, ZTE, posed potential national security risks to the country, raising questions about Huawei's devices and technologies, saying they were being used for espionage.
Karl Song, vice president of Huawei Corporate Communications, said during the press event that the U.S. moves are "politically-motivated," adding that its network devices have a proven track record without any security problems.
Against the hostile climate, Huawei's sales fell 29 percent to 636.8 billion yuan ($522 million) in 2021.
But its net profit jumped 75.9 percent year on year to 113.7 billion yuan, a feat that the vice president attributed to "streamlining management and making full use of digital technology."
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]