US ban threat may hit smartphone sales by $10B in 2019: Huawei
Chinese telecom major Huawei on Friday said the company might face a hit of $10 billion on its overall smartphone sales revenue in 2019 due to the ongoing hostility by the US, which has threatened a ban on the company's equipment alleging security concerns.
Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu, at the launch of AI processor Ascend 910 and AI computing framework MindSpore, said,
"The scenario is not as pessimistic as Ren (Co-founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei) had said. Maybe, that was a forecast in the worst case of scenario. Now, the situation is much better than the forecast. The business of the company could be over $10 billion less than expected in case of smart devices sales."
Earlier, Zhengfei had said the company may see its overall sales from the consumer, enterprise and carrier business down by over $30 billion due to the US ban threat.
Its overall sales from consumer, enterprise and carrier business in 2018 was over $105 billion. Of this, the consumer business, which mostly comprises smartphones and devices, had the biggest chunk of 45.1 percent with sales of $50.9 billion.
In a major reprieve to Huawei, the US on Monday gave the telecom equipment manufacturer a 90-day window to go ahead with its business as usual with the US suppliers.
However, the Chinese information and communication technology major categorically denied to have any impact due to the US threat and said the company over a period of time has learnt to live under such environment.
"The 90-day extension does not have any impact on us. We already got used to step by step... In Huawei as a company, we have realised (this) and are fully prepared for living and working in such environment for a long time," Xu added.
Ascend 910 is Huawei's new artificial intelligence (AI) processor that belongs to the series of its Ascend-Max chipsets.
The company said the Ascend 910 processor delivers on its performance goals with much lower power consumption than originally planned.
"Huawei will continue investing in AI processors to deliver more abundant, affordable and adaptable computing power that meets the needs of a broad range of scenarios (e.g, edge computing, on vehicle computing for autonomous driving and training)," he said.
MindSpore AI computing framework supports all development for AI applications in all scenarios, the company said.
"MindSpore marks significant progress towards these goals. As privacy protection grows more important than ever, support for all scenarios is essential for enabling secure, pervasive AI. This is a key component in the MindSpore framework, which can readily adapt to different deployment needs," it added.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)