Chinese tech giant Huawei has said it would have become the world’s number one smartphone maker by the year’s end if it were not for “unexpected” circumstances.
Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Shanghai, Huawei’s chief strategist Shao Yang, said: “If we had not encountered anything unexpected, we would have become number one in the world by the fourth quarter. But now we have to wait a little bit longer to achieve that.”
While President Donald Trump and his trade war with China was not directly referred to, the comment is widely understood as a hint that pressure from the US is hurting the company’s sales.
Washington last month put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bars US firms from selling to the firm without government approval.
“Those who are not brave will not progress, they will lag behind”
The action was part of a broader trade dispute between China and the US, which has accused Chinese technology companies such as Huawei of stealing trade secrets and threatening cyber security.
While Huawei has denied it would share user secrets with China’s ruling Communist Party, Mr Trump is on a mission to persuade US allies to exclude Huawei equipment from next-generation 5G mobile networks.
Mr Shao said the company will march on in its development of the technology.
“People see 5G, but we see beyond that,” he said. “Those who are not brave will not progress, they will lag behind. So everything that we do is to define our direction in the new round of competition.”