Huawei to halve smartphones made in 2021, says report

The Chinese tech giant reportedly expects to ship only 70 million phones this year.

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Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert

Huawei is expecting to make less than half the smartphones it made last year.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei has reportedly told suppliers that orders for its smartphones will drop by around 60% in 2021. The drop in expected phone shipments from 189 million in 2020 down to 70 million in 2021 is a result of sanctions against the Chinese smartphone maker in the US, Nikkei reported Thursday.

Huawei's phones are hugely popular globally but aren't sold in the US. Huawei was blacklisted in 2019 when it was added to the United States' entity list (PDF), with former President Donald Trump also signing an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.

Read more: Huawei ban timeline: Follow the saga of the Chinese telecommunications giant

As a result, Google cut off Huawei phones from future Android updates back in May 2019, and Huawei has also been barred from building 5G networks in many countries across the globe.

Huawei, which is reportedly in talks to sell its P series and Mate series phone brands, is set to reveal a foldable Mate X2 at a Feb. 22 event in China. During the fourth quarter of 2020, IDC said, Huawei shipped 32 million phones globally, compared with 56 million in the same quarter in 2019. 

Huawei didn't respond to a request for comment.