Huawei says 'survival' is top priority as sales fall short

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei said that 'survival' was its top priority after announcing 2019 sales were expected to fall short of projections as a result of U.S sanctions.

The global leader in telecom networking equipment has been effectively banned by the United States from working with American firms on the grounds that it poses a national security threat -– an accusation the Chinese company has consistently denied.

Chairman Eric Xu said Huawei's sales revenue for 2019 was likely to reach CNY 850 billion (US$121 billion) -- up roughly 18 percent from the previous year.

Though he said "business remains solid", the figure was lower than a previous forecast of $125 billion.

In a New Year message to employees, Xu said the U.S government was in the midst of a "strategic and long-term" campaign against the company that would create a "challenging environment for Huawei to survive and thrive".

"Survival will be our first priority" in 2020, said Xu, the current chairman under the company's rotating leadership scheme.

He said Huawei would need to "go all out" to build up its mobile services ecosystem -- its answer to the Google apps and services -- to "ensure that we can keep selling our smartphones in overseas markets".

(with news agency inputs)