Huawei today announced details about its 2012 financial performance, amid lingering security concerns over the company's alleged ties to the Chinese government. At a press conference held Monday, Chief Financial Officer Cathy Meng said Huawei's net profits rose by 33 percent last year, reaching 15.4 billion yuan ($2.5 billion). This marks a notable turnaround from 2011, when the phone manufacturer saw profits of 11.6 billion yuan ($1.9 billion).
Huawei, which played a prominent role at this year's CES, said its 2012 revenue rose by 8 percent on the year to 220.2 billion yuan ($35.4 billion), and expects sales to rise by as much as 12 percent in 2013. The Chinese company remains privately held, though Meng said Huawei has an "open mind" to the possibility of going public.
"Our commitment to transparency"
The manufacturer says it's seen strong growth in Europe, Africa, and Asia, though the company's US penetration has been hampered by allegations that the company has been less than transparent about its relationship with the Chinese government. An October US Congressional report labeled Huawei and ZTE as a national security risk, citing concerns over possible espionage, though the Huawei has steadfastly denied such allegations. The company says this week's financials report is part of a broader effort to "honor our commitment to transparency.''
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Meng also took the opportunity to criticize US trade policy, which she sees as overtly protectionist and anti-competitive. As a result, she said, American mobile consumers end up paying much higher prices than those in Europe. "These measures using trade protectionism to interfere with free competition will ultimately harm the benefits of end users and consumers," Meng said. "As we continue to invest in this industry and work with our customers, our customers and markets generally see the value we create for them."
Meng seemed confident, however, that her company's American controversy won't have an impact on its performance in other markets. "We feel that security concerns in the United States are restricted within the country and that won't have an impact on strategic decisions made by other countries," Meng said. "Over the past 20 years, we have not had any incidents based on security issues."