Huawei Thumbs its Nose at the US Government With Record High Revenues

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Some think success is the greatest revenge. If that's true, Huawei practically became vengeance personified this year, because the company reported a record-high revenue of $122 billion in 2019 despite U.S. government efforts to bring it down.

By now you've probably heard about the conflict between Huawei and the U.S. government enough times to recite it in your sleep. Just in case you haven't, though, here's a brief summary of the back-and-forth that's taken place in the last few years.

  • August 2018: U.S. President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019 to stop federal agencies from buying Huawei and ZTE equipment.
  • December 2018: Canada arrests Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of the U.S. government, which said Huawei violated sanctions on Iran.
  • May 2019: The U.S. Department of Commerce adds Huawei to the Entity List, which prevents American companies from doing business with it.
  • June 2019: Trump delays the Commerce Department's blacklisting of Huawei.
  • August 2019: Trump says the U.S. was "not going to be doing business with Huawei" after China refused to buy American agricultural goods during the ongoing trade war.

We've skipped over some of the relevant stories because there were simply too many to list comfortably. Suffice it to say those are the biggest ways in which the U.S. government sought to affect Huawei's business since the NDAA's signing last August.

Huawei faced similar challenges in other countries, too, as governments around the world publicly wondered if it would be safe to use the company's equipment to establish 5G wireless networks. The U.S. may have encouraged this questioning.

But the primary obstacle to Huawei's success was supposed to be its addition to the Entity List. American companies were forced to stop doing business with the company--or were at least supposed to be--and that could've hamstrung its activity.

Huawei defied expectations by posting the record high revenue (which, again, was $122 billion) despite all those obstacles as well as the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Its growth was still slowed, according to chairman Eric Xu, and it's worried about 2020. This year, however, it persevered despite American efforts.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.