Huawei Technology reported that the sale of a number of assets allowed it to increase profit by 76% in 2021 compared to 2020. This is the first result of CFO Meng Wanzhou’s return after nearly three years in Canada.
This is the largest annual gain in the company’s history – net income rose to $17.8 billion. However, last year’s blistering numbers (compared to a very modest 3.2% growth in 2020) were largely driven by asset sales. At the same time, revenue fell 29% to about $100 billion, in line with forecasts made by the company’s experts in December.
“Despite a drop in sales in 2021, our ability to generate profits and grow cash flow is increasing, and our ability to manage uncertainty is increasing.”Meng said during a speech broadcast from the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen. The company’s so-called rotating chairman Guo Ping said the company’s performance was in line with previous forecasts.
Meng’s arrest in Canada came ahead of a trade war that former US President Donald Trump’s administration had unleashed against Huawei on the pretext of concerns about America’s national security. In particular, the companies prohibited, among other things, the use of Google services on Android devices, as well as the use of other vital American-origin technologies. The US sanctions along with the corona virus hit Huawei hard and led to the sale of the Honor division in November 2020, which now successfully operates as a separate company. Huawei received the first cash tranche for this in March 2021. At the same time, the company sold its x86 server division.
As the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, Meng fell victim to the US game against Huawei. She was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 after a New York court issued an arrest warrant accusing her of trying to cover up the sale of Huawei equipment to Iran, circumventing US sanctions.
In September last year, she was able to return to China, after which Meng began working at the company. After imposing sanctions on Huawei, the company focused on research in areas ranging from green energy to autonomous driving systems. Sales of selected consumer goods also increased. For example, wearable device sales grew 30% last year compared to the same period last year.