HUAWEI Investment & Holding Co., Ltd., a global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, on Monday said its net profit rose last year despite sanctions imposed by the United States and slowing demand for 5G in China.

The company’s net income went up 75.9% year on year to $17.8 billion in 2021 even as its revenues fell 29% to $99.9 billion from $139.9 billion in 2020.

Jun Zhang, director of Huawei Asia-Pacific’s public relations department, said though the US’ restrictions had a huge impact on Huawei, its main ICT infrastructure business has remained stable “thanks to the trust of our customers.”

“New business segments like digital power and cloud grew rapidly, and its ecosystem development efforts have entered the fast lane,” he said to Philippine media in an interview following the March 28 press conference. “In the context of accelerating digital transformation, there are strong market demands for innovative digital solutions and high-quality suppliers,” he added.

US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in November signed a law to prevent companies like Huawei deemed as security threats from receiving new equipment licenses from US regulators.

The technology firm has been on the US’ “non-entity” list since 2019, which prevents US companies from selling products to the Chinese mobile giant without permission.

Huawei’s ability to “survive and thrive” moving forward depends on ongoing investment in development, its rotating chairman Guo Ping said.

“Our fight to survive is not over yet,” Mr. Guo told global media at the conference. “No matter what comes our way, we will keep investing. That is the only way forward.”

Among the company’s 2021 initiatives are the launch of 11 scenario-based solutions for sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, and finance; the launch of more than 50 scenario-based cloud services through its Expertise as a Service (EaaS); and the launch of more than 30 intelligent automotive components for car OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

Huawei also announced on Monday its focus on three key R&D (research and development) areas: systems architecture, software enhancement, and studies of fundamental theories.

The company’s R&D expenditure amounted to $22.4 billion in 2021 or 22.4% of its revenue.

Huawei is also investing in the cultivation of ICT talents. In Southeast Asia, the company is looking to invest $50 million over the next few years to develop 500,000 digital talents, including 100,000 in Indonesia.

In the Philippines, its global CSR flagship program Seeds for the Future has benefited over 200 students in enhancing their knowledge and appreciation of the ICT sector. Its Huawei Scholarship program has likewise provided financial assistance to 22 scholars from the country’s top five universities.

“We will continue to invest in [digital] talents and R&D to ensure our long-term innovation,” said Meng Wanzhou, Huawei chief financial officer. — Patricia B. Mirasol