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Huawei confident in comeback

Huawei Technologies Co said on Friday that it will focus on creating growth opportunities, enhancing development resilience and building differentiated advantages in the next few years, as the Chinese tech company adjusts its strategies in a business-as-usual approach amid prolonged US government restrictions.

The comments came after Huawei said it reported steady operations throughout 2022, with 642.3 billion yuan ($93.5 billion) in revenue, a 0.9 percent year-on-year growth.

Its net profits hit 35.6 billion yuan in 2022, a 69 percent year-on-year decline, largely due to the company achieving a bump in profits in 2022 after it sold off its Honor smartphone brand to a consortium of buyers, making the comparison base with 2022 quite large.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, said at the company's annual report news conference in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, that despite substantial pressure in 2022, overall business results were in line with forecasts.

"At the end of 2022, the liability ratio was 58.9 percent and the net cash balance was 176.3 billion yuan. In addition, the balance of total assets reached 1 trillion yuan, largely composed of current assets such as cash, short-term investments and operating assets.

"In 2022, the total R&D spend was 161.5 billion yuan, representing 25.1 percent of total revenue — among the highest in Huawei's history."

Huawei was once again the most active patent applicant at the European Patent Office last year, surging by 27.1 percent.

"When we looked at the figures, we were very struck by this development. Huawei is about 1,000 applications ahead of the second most active applicant," said Aidan Kendrick, chief business analyst at the EPO.

Xu Zhijun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said: "2023 will be crucial to Huawei's sustainable survival and development.

"While it's true that we have considerable pressure ahead, we have what it takes to come out the other end — opportunities to grow, a resilient business portfolio, a unique competitive edge, the enduring trust of our customers and partners and the courage to invest heavily in research and development."

According to him, Huawei will focus on creating growth opportunities, enhancing development resilience and building differentiated advantages in the next few years.

Xu said the company is certain that digitalization and decarbonization are the way forward as the two fields embody future opportunities.

Huawei recently said that it successfully developed electronic design automation, or EDA, tools, for chips above 14 nanometers by partnering with domestic partners, marking a crucial breakthrough for China's semiconductor industry amid US government restrictions.

The progress means that "any domestic semiconductor enterprise can use domestic EDA tools to design chips above 14 nanometers", Xu said. "The domestic semiconductor industry has been facing continuous sanctions over the years, but I believe that it will be reborn and achieve self-reliance."

Japan said on Friday it will restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, aligning its technology trade controls with the US government's push to curb China's ability to make advanced chips.

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