Huawei's revenue drops in 'challenging' year

Huawei saw its revenue fall 16.5% to $23.46 billion in the first quarter compared to a year earlier.

The Chinese tech giant was hurt by a dip in sales after selling its budget smartphone unit Honor in November.

Its net profit margin rose, however, as the company cut costs and received a boost from $600 million in royalty payments.

Rotating chairman Eric Xu said in a statement that 2021 ''will be challenging year'', but will also see the company's development strategy take shape.

Huawei was put on an export blacklist by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019, and barred from accessing critical technology of U.S. origin.

That which affected the firm's ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

The ban put Huawei's once lucrative handset business under immense pressure, prompting the sale of its Honor unit to a group of agents and dealers.

In March, Huawei had posted a 3.2% rise in profits in 2020, largely driven by its home market.

But its business declined elsewhere in 2020, with revenues down across major markets.

Xu says the company is now investing heavily in businesses that are less reliant on U.S. chip technology, such as autonomous driving and cloud computing.