Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Tuesday its revenue grew at a sharply slower rate of just 1.4 percent in the first quarter, when the coronavirus and efforts to contain it shut down China’s economy.
The figures released by unlisted Huawei are among the first by a major Chinese corporation to provide a glimpse of the scale of the business impact from the pandemic, which emerged in China in December before spreading globally.
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Huawei – the world’s top supplier of telecom networking equipment and number-two smartphone maker behind Samsung– did not directly attribute the slower revenue growth to the coronavirus, which froze consumer spending and global supply chains.
But it said the firm and “its supplier network are working together to address the tough challenges facing production and resume operations”.
Huawei added that business “is continuing as usual” but provided few specifics.
The numbers indicated that the pandemic was proving a tougher challenge, at least over the short-term, than a US campaign to isolate the company globally.
Huawei last month said its performance in full-year 2019 remained solid, with group revenue expanding 19.1 percent despite the US efforts.
Washington has lobbied allies to shun Huawei over suspicions its telecoms gear could contain security loopholes that allow China to spy on global communications traffic.
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