Huawei Reports Rare Drop in Revenue as U.S. Sanctions Bite

HONG KONG—Huawei Technologies Co. suffered a rare decline in revenue during the fourth quarter last year, as U.S. sanctions hammered its business and sales outside of China fell particularly hard.

The Chinese telecom giant said sales of its once hugely popular smartphones were suffering the most of all its business segments, with the company showing signs of difficulty sourcing the advanced chips needed to run its handsets due to U.S. export restrictions imposed last year.

Revenue in the fourth quarter fell 11.2% to 220.1 billion yuan, equivalent to about $33.6 billion, from a year earlier. For the full year, the company’s revenue still grew 3.8% to a record 891.4 billion yuan, thanks to stronger performance earlier in the year. It still marked one of Huawei’s slowest years for revenue growth on record, the closely held company said.

“The supply restrictions for our smartphone business has caused us a great impact, and we haven’t been able to see a clear picture in the supply for our smartphones,” said Ken Hu, one of Huawei’s three deputy chairmen, during a press conference Wednesday at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen. “We think this is a very unfair situation to Huawei and it has caused a lot of damage to us.”

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