Huawei is set to focus on the provision of cloud technologies and services in order to survive US sanctions on its consumer business.

The Chinese firm is a relative newcomer to the competitive cloud market and trails domestic rivals Tencent and Alibaba as well as international players Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

However the business is growing rapidly and the Shenzhen-based firm has devoted significant resources to accelerating this trajectory. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a particular focus with the company committing to investing $1.5 billion to expand its base of developers from 1.4 million to 5 million over the next five years.

Huawei Cloud

It was hoped that cloud would become a third pillar of the Huawei ecosystem, sitting alongside its telecoms and consumer units. However recent US-led moves to block the company from participating in 5G rollouts and accessing semiconductor technologies have led to significant challenges to its core businesses.

This is especially true in consumer products – despite the fact that Huawei is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer according to some studies

The company is now barred from procuring processers made with American innovations and could even be prevented from sourcing generic commercially available products that have been made using US technologies.

However the FT says Huawei is still able to access cloud components and plans to grow the unit to offset potential losses in other divisions. These ambitions could be helped by the award of public cloud contracts from the Chinese government.