Huawei Technologies Co said on Thursday that it expects revenue from its consumer business group, which includes smartphones, personal computers and tablets, to grow fast in China, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the US government restrictions.
The forecast came after the company launched its latest high-end P40 series of smartphones in China on Wednesday, which has an indigenously developed operating system without any dependence on Google services.
Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, told China Daily that the company’s smartphone sales have been recovering in China and saw strong growth last month.
“Though sales declined in February, we saw growth in January and March, which helped maintain an expansion in the first quarter,” Yu said.
But the senior executive warned that the pandemic could crimp global smartphone markets for the whole year.
“It is almost impossible to avoid a decline in the global smartphone business. We will try hard not to post a drop,” Yu said.
He said tablet sales have been improving steadily as more people stay at home for work and study. Huawei is making steady progress in promoting Huawei Mobile Services, better known as HMS, which is the foundation for the company to continue selling smartphones in overseas markets.
HMS is designed to replace Google Mobile Service, after the US government banned the company from using Google’s products and services in its mobile devices.
“We have not only shortened the gap with GMS, but also built our own edge in HMS,” Yu said, adding that the company’s P40 Lite smartphones, powered by HMS, have sold well in overseas markets.
The senior executive said the P40 series will be available in all markets except for the US, Brazil and South Korea. But currently, the pandemic is affecting the company’s businesses in western Europe.
Some reports had earlier suggested that US politicians were considering steps to further contain semiconductor sales to Huawei. Yu said the proposal, if approved, will severely harm the business prospects of US suppliers.
“If the market does not deteriorate, we are confident of maintaining good growth,” Yu said.
A recent report from market research company Strategy Analytics said nearly 37 per cent of the over 1,300 respondents it surveyed said they would defer plans to buy new smartphones, while 32 per cent indicated they would postpone plans to upgrade to 5G services.
Sui Qian, research director of smartphones at Strategy Analytics, said smartphone supply chains and ecosystem are likely to recover in the second quarter, but apparently, a large number of consumers are not ready to return to the pre-pandemic purchasing patterns.
Telecom carriers, smartphone vendors and retailers must step up efforts to convince consumers that it is worthwhile to buy new smartphones, Sui said.
CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK