SINGAPORE: Huawei recorded a net profit of US$2.7 billion (S$3.65 billion) for the first quarter of 2024, a whopping 564 per cent increase from the same period last year, AFP reported earlier this week, citing a results filing by the holding company of the Chinese tech giant.

A representative from Huawei confirmed the results, which also showed that the company’s revenues went up by 36.7 per cent year-on-year for a total of US$24.7 billion (S$33.39 billion).

Huawei’s stellar performance comes as Apple sales are seeing a slump in China, AFP added, noting that the tech company has found itself “caught in the middle of an intense technological rivalry between Beijing and Washington.”

The government of the United States has long alleged that Huawei’s equipment could be used in spying for China, which the company has denied. Huawei took a hit after sanctions were imposed in 2019, causing the company to diversify into other technologies including 5G, artificial intelligence and smart-driving technology to help Huawei’s bottom line.

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The diversification indeed helped, with Huawei reporting that it more than doubled its profits last year.

In 2023, after years of sanctions from the US, the company launched a bid to return to the high-end smartphone market by introducing its Mate 60 series of smartphones, whose chipsets are believed to have been developed in China and which AFP points out can not be produced “without foreign technologies, questioning the effectiveness of US restrictions.”

AFP also reported a 19 per cent drop in iPhone sales in China in the first quarter of the year. In 2023, Apple faced a partial ban in the country after Beijing disallowed government employees from using iPhones.

A Huawei representative told AFP that its bump in revenues came because of “seizing opportunities in digitalization, intelligence, and decarbonization”, but added that”the industry and global markets will remain rife with uncertainty for the rest of 2024”.

Nevertheless, he sounded an optimistic note, expressing confidence in the company’s ability to ”meet our annual business targets and achieve sustainable growth.”

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Bloomberg reported in January that the iPhone had taken the top spot in smartphone sales in China last year despite the partial ban, a first for Apple’s flagship product.

Additionally, the iPhone was the number one smartphone in terms of sales around the globe for 2023, due to an all-time high market share, and ending Samsung’s almost 15-year-long dominance. /TISG

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