How Huawei is trying to thrive despite sanctions and bans

Digital transformation, new enterprise markets, and culling some business lines are now part of the playbook for the sanction-hit telecoms giant


Sanctions and restrictions in several countries—in response to fears that Huawei secretly uses its network and consumer products to spy on behalf of the Chinese government—are cutting into Huawei’s operations and sales. So the Chinese telecoms supplier has needed to shed unsustainable business lines and lean heavily into innovation to remain viable in the face of declining sales. But is pursuing a heavy R&D agenda to capture the growing demand for digitalisation enough?

The impact of sanctions and restrictions against Huawei products across the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and some European countries has fundamentally altered Huawei’s business. It’s been forced to become more resilient against market and component restrictions as well as flexible in finding new avenue, declaring in its recently released 2022 report it’s in a better position to deal with uncertainty, something it’s had in spades over the years.

Huawei’s moves in response to bans from various governments that have limited its involvement in the telecom sector, is naturally moving the focus to markets where it can operate, said Hugh Ujhazy, IDC’s vice president for internet of things and telecom in Asia-Pacific.

“It seems to have largely pulled out of Australia and may well do the same in the UK. Europe has traditionally been a strong market for the business, but investments in Africa and Southeast Asia seem to be more relevant at this stage; Huawei continues to develop its customer base in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand focusing on 5G deployments and on fixed and fixed-wireless access expansion,” Ujhazy told Network World Asia.

By the numbers: How sanctions are changing Huawei’s business

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