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Huawei ‘can survive US sanctions’ – but won’t be building self-driving cars

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Chinese tech titan Huawei unveiled five strategic initiatives for the post-Covid world at its 18th Global Analyst Summit, held recently in Shenzhen.

Huawei reaffirmed its commitment to getting everyone in Asia-Pacific online but said it won’t follow tech giants like Google by making its own cars.

The company’s five strategy initiatives are:

1. To optimise its portfolio to boost resilience by strengthening its software capabilities and investing more in businesses that are less reliant on advanced process techniques, as well as in components for intelligent vehicles.

2. Maximise 5G value and define 5.5G with industry peers to drive the evolution of mobile communications.

3. Provide a seamless, user-centric, and intelligent experience across all user scenarios.

4. Innovate to reduce energy consumption for a low-carbon world.

5. Address supply continuity challenges.

Huawei also responded to the ongoing global shortage of microchips and semiconductors used to build them.

"Rebuilding trust and restoring collaboration across the global semiconductor supply chain is crucial to bringing the industry back on track," said Eric Xu, Huawei's chairman.

The shortage has heightened trade tensions with the United States, which accuses China of stockpiling product and preventing its export.

Asked about Huawei’s strategy to survive under US sanctions, Xu said the company remained confident and determined to continue working with global customers and partners to address supply challenges.

Any chipmaker reliant on American technology cannot sell to Huawei without being penalised by US authorities.

Xu said Huawei will manage its existing inventory to sustain it for longer, which meant “taking a more focused approach as we work with different regions and customers”.

The company had no hope of being removed from the US sanctions list in the short term, he added.

Huawei also reaffirmed its strategy to help others build self-driving cars with its tech expertise, rather than building cars itself. Huawei has partnered with three Chinese carmakers – Beijing New Energy Automobile, Chongqing Chang'an and Guangzhou Automobile Group.

Also underlined was the company’s push to bring digital to every person, home and organisation in the Asia Pacific region.

Xu said Huawei business growth had remained stable amid the Covid-induced economic crisis, with revenue growing 3.8 per cent and net profits increasing 3.2 per cent. The company’s strategy last year was to stockpile in bulk, so its operating cash flow was 35.2 billion yuan, which was also in line with its forecasts.

Published : April 19, 2021

By : The Nation