Huawei 2020 Annual Report: Challenges & Growth


    Apr 02, 2021

    Author and thought leader Elise Quevedo gives her take on the Huawei 2020 Annual Report.

    In partnership with KPMG, Huawei has released its unmodified 2020 annual report and financial information. The report shows overall growth in sales and net profit despite a decrease in revenue in some markets and of course the global pandemic.

    Huawei’s revenue for 2020 was 891.4 billion Chinese yuan (US$136 billion), a 3.8% increase over 2019. 

    Four areas stood out for me: 

    • Digital Transformation
    • 5G
    • HarmonyOS 
    • R&D

    Digital Transformation

    Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu mentioned that enterprises are prioritizing the acceleration of digital transformation. Over the last few years, digital transformation has moved to the top of the agenda of many organizations, whether or not they’ve taken any action in this regard. 86% of managers expect the digitalization trend to gather momentum, confirming that it’s a topic high on the global agenda.

    A total of 253 Fortune 500 Global companies in more than 700 cities have chosen Huawei as their partner for digital transformation, with Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group enjoying the strongest growth of Huawei’s businesses at 23%. 

    This also shows us that companies are adapting. Has the pandemic truly supercharged the evolution and pace of digital transformation? In his speech about the report, Ken Hu mentioned that we are now 1 to 3 years ahead of previous targets for full cloud adoption.

    In the enterprise context, we should also keep in mind the saying, “It is not the most intelligent or strongest that survives, but the one that is most adaptable to change.”


    Huawei’s carrier business hasn’t stopped moving forward, continuing to roll out 5G amid the pandemic and restrictions. The total revenue from its Carrier Business Group was 302.6 billion Chinese yuan (US$46.4 billion), a YoY increase of 0.2%.

    Huawei’s 5G Massive MIMO

    KPMG’s unmodified audit shows the resilience of the tech brand in the face current challenges and testifies to the importance of collaboration and partnership. Indeed, without it, Huawei wouldn’t have enjoyed this growth.

    During 2020, the company supported the stable operations of 1,500+ carrier networks across 170+ countries and regions. It worked with international carriers on over 3,000 5G innovation projects, across 20 industries including coal mining, steel, ports, and manufacturing.

    Read more: Working with 5G: Safer, Smarter & People-First

    Huawei’s RuralStar solutions continue to provide mobile Internet services for more than 50 million people living in remote areas in 60+ countries. 

    Huawei’s RuralStar connects Tobolo, a remote village in Nigeria

    Read more: RuralStar: Remote Doesn’t Mean Out of Reach


    I haven’t tried Huawei’s HarmonyOS yet. However, the annual report numbers, which show an overall consumer business growth of 3.3%, tells me that this tech giant only rolls out products when they believe they have a win-win.

    Although there was a decrease in Europe, US & APAC, China sales made up for it. It is estimated that 300 million devices will run on HarmonyOS this year.

    Huawei’s focus on the consumer side is on developing an ecosystem that connects all consumer devices in life, powered by HarmonyOS and Huawei Mobile Services. According to Huawei, this ecosystem will provide smart living solutions based on five scenarios: smart office, fitness & health, smart home, smart travel, and audio-visual entertainment.

    Many consumers were worried that they wouldn’t be able to use their Huawei smart devices or didn’t know what to expect when HarmonyOS was released. But with the overall growth of 3.3%, we can only say it was a move that paid off.

    My question is, will Europe, US, & APAC sales increase next year? Or will China continue to be the leader on the consumer side?


    Since visiting the Huawei Campus back in 2019 and understanding their R&D efforts more, I’m not surprised to see they focused on recruiting more next-generation leaders, increasing their workforce by 3,000 people.

    It’s no secret that Huawei ranks amongst the top companies when it comes to R&D investment, something we can consistently see in the payoff when it comes to product and solution rollouts and by the simple fact that they have one of the largest patent portfolios in the world. In 2020, the company held a total of 100,000+ active patents.

    2020’s annual R&D investment totaled 141.9 billion Chinese yuan (US$21.8 billion), accounting for 15.9% of the company’s total revenue.

    To summarize, all key areas of Huawei – its Carrier, Enterprise, and Consumer business groups – all saw a growth in revenue, representing a solid year despite all the challenges.

    Does this mean tech companies are the ones that have survived and adapted better than the rest during the unprecedented challenges we saw in 2020? Or is it time to realize that tech companies are crucial to socioeconomics and can help multiple industries survive moving forward?

    And does the report show hope that there’s a turnaround in regards to the challenges Huawei continues to face as a Chinese tech giant? Will they continue to thrive? We’ll have to wait for the 2021 report to see.

    Download the full Huawei 2020 Annual Report.

    About the Author

    Elise Quevedo

    Elise is an author, digital media advisor, and global thought leader. She collaborates with individuals and brands across the globe, including Fortune 500 companies. Elise is passionate about tech and storytelling.

    Follow Elise on Twitter: @EliseQuevedo

    Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.


      Leave a Comment

      Posted in


      Posted in