revenue barely grew despite growing phone, car sales

on Oct27
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Visitors line up in front of the Huawei flagship store on Nanjing East Road, one of the city’s main commercial and tourist area, in Shanghai, China, on Sept. 30, 2023.

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BEIJING — Chinese tech giant Huawei reported revenue figures Friday that showed only a 1% increase in the third quarter from a year ago, according to CNBC calculations.

That’s despite the company’s release of a popular new smartphone in late August and growing sales within its electric car venture.

Huawei said revenue for the first three quarters of the year rose by 2.4% year-on-year to 456.6 billion yuan ($62.33 billion) — the highest for the period since 2020. U.S. sanctions on the Chinese telco maker started in 2019.

Despite those restrictions on Huawei’s ability to access high-end tech, reviews indicated the company’s new Mate 60 Pro smartphone offers download speeds associated with 5G — thanks to an advanced semiconductor chip.

Huawei quietly launched the phone in China in late August, and declined to share more during a seasonal product launch event in late September.

More than 1.6 million Mate 60 series devices were sold during the first six weeks of sales, according to Counterpoint Research.

The research firm estimated that the majority, about 75%, of units sold were Pro models — that’s about 1.2 million units sold.

Apple, which launched its iPhone 15 in September, is expected to sell 10 million units of the new phone in China this year, for an expected total of 45.5 million iPhone sales in the country, according to Shanghai-based CINNO Research estimates.

The U.S. company saw smartphone sales fall by 10% in the third quarter from a year ago, while Huawei’s sales surged by 37%, Counterpoint Research said Thursday.

Electric car brand

Huawei has also built up a presence in China’s fast-growing new energy vehicle market, which includes hybrid and battery-powered cars.

The company sells its operating system and components, such as for driver-assist tech, to car manufacturers.

In December 2021, Huawei launched its own car brand Aito in collaboration with manufacturer Seres.

Orders for Aito’s latest M7 topped 60,000 as of Oct. 16, just about a month after its release, according to a social media post from Richard Yu, who heads Huawei’s car-related and consumer business.

On Wednesday, Aito said pre-orders for its forthcoming M9 SUV had topped 15,000.

Profit margin increase

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