Huawei will return to smartphone 'throne' despite crippling sanctions, chairman says

SHENZHEN, China, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies' (HWT.UL) chairman said while U.S. sanctions have choked its smartphone business, it will not give up and plans to eventually return to the industry's "throne".

In 2019 former U.S. President Donald Trump accused Huawei of being a threat to national security, put it on an export blacklist and barred it from accessing critical technology of U.S. origin, affecting its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

"Everyone knows that phone chips need advanced technology in a small size with low power consumption. Huawei can design it, but no one can help us make it: we're stuck," Huawei Chairman Guo Ping was quoted as saying in a transcript of a recent Q&A with staff seen by Reuters.

Guo added, however, that the problems were solvable.

"Huawei will continue to exist in the field of mobile phones and with continuous advances in chip production, the smartphone throne will eventually return," he said.

Huawei, once briefly the world's biggest smartphone vendor, dropped out of the ranks of China's top five sellers in the latest quarter, the first time in more than seven years, according to research firm Canalys.

In November, Huawei sold off its lower-end smartphone brand Honor - a move aimed at keeping the business alive.

Huawei's revenue tumbled 29% in the first half of this year, its biggest ever fall, with revenue from its consumer business group which includes smartphones, diving 47% to 135.7 billion yuan ($21 billion).

($1 = 6.4830 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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