Huawei's company logo is seen at an office in Beijing, Dec. 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
Huawei's company logo is seen at an office in Beijing, Dec. 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

Huawei’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations grew sales faster than any other region in 2018, the Chinese telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics maker said on Friday.

Thanks to better sales of high-end and mid-range smartphones, overall market share gains in smartphones, “and the accelerated pace of digital transformation in our enterprise business”, Huawei earned 204.5-billion yuan (R443.9bn) in revenue from the EMEA region in 2018, up 24.3% from 2017.

That helped lift group revenues 19.5% to 721.2-billion yuan, Huawei said.

Net profit was up 25.1% at 59.3-billion yuan.

In October 2018, Zhao Likun, head of Huawei’s devices business in SA, said the group was building two distribution warehouses and a research & development lab in SA as part of its ambition to be the biggest seller of high-end smartphones in the country by the end of 2019.

At the time, Huawei ranked third in SA — behind Samsung and Apple — in terms of sales of smartphones priced at $600 (about R8,800) or more.

Meanwhile, Huawei faces disruption in a number of key markets, with the US advocating that countries block it from supplying infrastructure for 5G networks partly on security concerns.

“The easiest way to bring down a fortress is to attack it from within and the easiest way to reinforce it is from outside,” said Huawei rotating chair, Guo Ping.

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

Without mentioning the US specifically, he also said that “in the face of suspicion and exclusion, the trust of our customers is our greatest motivation”.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za