US has loser's attitude as it cannot compete against Huawei: Chairman Guo Ping

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Beijing, China Mar 29, 2019, 04.52 PM (IST)

China's Huawei Technologies turned in a higher annual profit on record handset sales even as it continued to grapple with heightened global scrutiny amid allegations of espionage.

As the results were announced, China's Huawei Technologies called on Washington to drop the "loser's attitude" and once again rubbished US allegations its gear could be used by Beijing for spying, as its network business weakened amid mounting global scrutiny.

"The US government has a loser's attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei," Guo Ping, rotating chairman of the world's top producer of telecoms equipment and No-3 maker of smartphones, said on Friday.

"The US government has a loser's attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei," Guo Ping, rotating chairman of the world's top producer of telecoms equipment and No-3 maker of smartphones, said on Friday.

"I hope the US can adjust its attitude," Guo said.

The US embassy in China declined to comment.

Huawei's outlook has come under a cloud over the past year with the United States voicing concerns that its equipment could be used for espionage. Washington has also urged its allies to ban Huawei from building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

The latest blow for the company came on Thursday when Britain rebuked it for failing to fix long-standing security flaws in its mobile network equipment and revealed new "significant technical issues".

For 2018, the Shenzen-based firm reported a net profit of $9 billion, up 25 per cent from a year ago, versus a 28 per cent rise in 2017. Revenue from its carrier business fell 1.3 per cent to 294 billion yuan, which it blamed on telecommunications industry investment cycles.

However, the surge in its consumer business sales to a record 348.9 billion yuan, driven by demand for its premium smartphone models such as the P series and Mate series, helped push global revenue to above $100 billion for the first time.

Its total revenue rose nearly 20 per cent to about 721 billion yuan, marking the fastest pace of growth in two years.

The performance of consumer business was in line with what Huawei flagged in January, when it also said it could become the world's biggest-selling smartphone vendor this year.

Guo said he expects all three business groups - consumer, carrier and enterprise - to post double-digit growth this year, although he did not provide a specific number.

The company has previously said it was targeting total revenue of $125 billion this year, a record high.

"Moving forward, we will do everything we can to shake off outside distractions, improve management and make progress towards our strategic goals," Guo said.

Huawei has "prepared some inventories for uncertainties" that has reduced its net cash position, Guo added, without giving any details.