Further proof this week that Huawei inhabits two parallel universes, as staggering sales numbers emerged from China, even as the latest shockwaves from Trump’s blacklist reverberate elsewhere. Huawei’s headline role in the tech standoff between the U.S. and China has seemed to diminish in recent weeks—but only because TikTok has been running interference. In reality, little has changed.
Restricted internationally, Huawei continues to use China to shore up its balance sheet and keep its revenues in sensible shape. The company’s domination at home reached new heights last quarter. Its stunning 46% market share was more than its three local rivals—Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi—managed between them. All three saw year-on-year sales plunge around 30%, while Huawei saw its own share grow 14%.
Huawei surprised many when it finally achieved its ambition to secure the world’s number-one slot for smartphone sales in April. The combination of strong sales in a Chinese market emerging from coronavirus, while other markets where rival Samsung is stronger continued to struggle, saw it top the pile. All eyes are now on imminent first-half numbers, to see if Huawei can take a surprising top spot.