Huawei’s international are projected to fall by 40% at the cost of $30 billion, according to its founder Ren Zhengfei, which corresponds to a fall in smartphone shipments of 40-to-60 million devices.

The announcement came during a panel discussion at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen on 17 June. “We didn’t expect the damage to be this serious,” Ren admitted, sharing a panel with George Gilder of MIT Media and Nicholas Negroponte.

Huawei sales will remain flat at $100 billion in 2019, down from a projection of $125 billion. Ren projects the same turnover in 2020 but envisages the company’s rebound in 2021, the BBC reports.

Huawei’s international smartphone sales are freefalling due to the pressure applied by Washington on US companies to exclude the Chinese company as a client, including software giants like Google, cutting off the company from the Android platform, Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail. The company is also cut off hardware suppliers, including Qualcomm processors.

Huawei’s international smartphone sales are second only to South Korea’s Samsung, followed by US Apple. The Chinese company retains unmatched access to the Chinese market, with over 35% share and well placed to grab 45% by the end of the year. However, its OS operating system has not spread overseas and it is hard to compensate for the of access to the Android platform.

The company is now considering the cancellation of its Honor 20 launch, which was to launch on June 21 in key European markets, including France and the UK, according to Bloomberg.

The US has argued that Huawei poses a security risk, citing fears of surveillance. That is in addition to US pressure on its overseas allies to exclude the Chinese giant from the development of 5G networks.

European hardware companies with US subsidiaries are also falling in line with US policy. Meanwhile, several major distributors around the world have stopped selling Huawei devices, in Japan and Europe.

Huawei’s founder made clear on Monday that the company would not cut the level of funding for research and development projects.

Huawei is a privately-owned company. However, Chinese law requires corporates based in China to cooperate with intelligence agencies, if required.