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Huawei bets its 2024 on datacenter infrastructure

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Huawei chair Hu Houkun has prepared the Chinese tech giant for 2024 by suggesting its datacenter offerings are the key to success in the new year.

In an end of year speech, Hu described Huawei’s tech infrastructure business as the its “ballast” and predicted its computing, storage, and networking tech will ensure Huawei can participate in customers’ digital transformation efforts across many industries.

The chair, one of three who share the position, pointed to a turnaround in storage sales across Europe as evidence that Huawei’s infrastructure offerings have appeal beyond China. He also noted that interest in artificial intelligence has created high demand for computing infrastructure. Huawei intends to cash in, and Hu said recent achievements in large-scale hardware deployments show the multinational manufacturer can meet the moment.

Which is not to say the year will be easy. Hu mentioned “severe challenges” – sanctions, geopolitical issues, and changing economic cycles – that are together “profoundly reshaping the structure of the global industrial chain and business rules.”

But Huawei has survived, and will now thrive, he wrote.

“After several years of hard work, we have withstood the severe test and the company’s operations have basically returned to normal,” Hu wrote. He predicted 2023 revenue will land at ¥700 billion ($98.5 billion) – a small jump from 2022, but still well below the ¥891 billion ($125 billion) recorded in 2020. In 2023, sales of handsets and other personal devices delivered better-than-expected numbers, the datacenter infrastructure biz was stable, digital infrastructure for the energy sector and cloud both grew strongly, and the EV business reached a stronger position.

Another achievement was the launch of a homebrew ERP that has already been deployed to 200 nations. Wide deployment of Hongmeng OS – a multiplatform OS featuring a Huawei-created unikernel – also got a mention.

Numerous observers have predicted the next generation of Hongmeng, also known as HarmonyOS, will deliberately shed Android compatibility – making both Huawei and China less dependent on US tech. Watch this space.

Hu declared that innovation, a shift to as-a-service business models, and the indomitable spirit of Huawei employees will see the firm succeed.

“The road ahead is still difficult and dangerous, but history always favors those who have faith,” Hu wrote, concluding “Great times are created by people, and we will definitely make heroes and shine brightly.” ®

Bootnote: If you want to see how Huawei markets itself in China, this video is a fabulous example of the “wrap yourself in the flag” genre of marketing.

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