Saturday, October 31, 2020

Huawei fighting to survive ‘nonstop US aggression’

Chinese giant may have enough chips to last into 2021.

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Chinese technology giant Huawei says it is fighting for survival as “continuous attacks” from the US threaten to deny it access to key American technology.

The US increased pressure on Huawei by bringing in fresh sanctions in May and August. These further restrict the company’s access to the state-of-the-art computer chips it needs to manufacture its smartphones and 5G networking gear.

US regulators claim Huawei poses a threat to national security, alleging that the Chinese government could use company equipment to spy on the West and its interests.

Huawei has repeatedly denied such allegations.

The company’s chief executive Guo Ping said on Wednesday, “Huawei is in a difficult situation these days. Nonstop aggression from the US government has put us under significant pressure. Right now, survival is the goal.”

Companies that use American software and technology to design and manufacture chips can no longer sell to Huawei without first obtaining a licence from the US Commerce Department.

Major chipmakers such as Qualcomm and SK Hynix have applied for licences to sell to Huawei, according to Chinese state broadcaster CGTN

Several analysts estimate that Huawei has stockpiled enough semiconductors to last the company until the end of the year or even longer.

When asked how long supplies will last, Guo said: “We’re still evaluating more details.”

Other analysts have called the latest US sanctions a “lethal blow” for the company.

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