US Signals Huawei Sales Could Recommence ‘In Two Weeks’

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But Chinese firm is already planning massive layoffs at its US research and development subsidiary as trade restrictions bite

US companies may be able to resume sales to Huawei in as little as two weeks, in a sign that the US administration is willing to move forward quickly on allaying trade restrictions.

In May the administation placed Huawei on a national security blacklist, a move that has threatened to disrupt worldwide telecommunications supply chains and to delay 5G rollouts.

Huawei has estimated the ban will reduce its sales by $25 billion (£20bn) both this year and next year, and is reportedly planning to lay off hundreds of US research staff as a result.

Huawei’s placement on the so-called Entity List would have rendered Google unable to provide Android software and services to new Huawei phones, although existing models are still supported.

Huawei
BT

Confusion

Late in June US president Trump, after a meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, said US companies would be allowed to resume sales to Huawei, and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross later confirmed sales would be allowed in cases where there was no national security threat.

However, it remains unclear which products or services would be permitted, and the US Commerce Department held a conference last week to provide more clarity to US suppliers.

One manufacturer’s representative was told by a senior US official on Thursday that licences could be granted in two to four weeks, Reuters reported.

The official did not give more details on how approval decisions would be made, but suggested they would be made on a case-by-case basis as the agency seeks to form broader opinions, the unnamed representative said.

The Commerce Department said it is “currently evaluating all licenses and determining what is in the nation’s best national security interest”.

US redundancies

However, Huawei is nevertheless planning for a round of “hundreds” of redundancies at a US research and development subsidiary that employs 850 staff, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Futurewei subsidiary employs people in states including Texas California and Washington.

Some staff have already been notified of dismissal, while some Chinese-born employees have been offered the option of remaining with the company if they return to China.

Huawei declined to comment on the dismissals.

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