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Huawei says its survival is at stake after latest US restrictions

The Chinese company has hit out at the “pernicious” attack against it.

File photo
File photo
Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

HUAWEI HAS CRITICISED the latest US move to cut it off from semiconductor suppliers as a “pernicious” attack that will put the Chinese technology giant in “survival” mode and sow chaos in the global technology sector.

The US Commerce Department said on Friday it was tightening sanctions on the Chinese telecommunications company — seen by Washington as a security risk — to include denying it access to semiconductor designs developed using US software and technology.

“The decision was arbitrary and pernicious and threatens to undermine the entire (technology) industry worldwide,” Huawei said in a statement released today.

Huawei has largely weathered an escalating 18-month campaign by the Trump administration to isolate it internationally.

But it “will inevitably be affected” by the latest development, rotating chairman Guo Ping said at an annual summit of technology analysts that Huawei organises at its headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Survival mode 

“Survival is the key for us now,” Guo said, issuing an appeal to Huawei’s suppliers and customers worldwide to stand with it.

He declined to give a detailed forecast of the impact when asked by journalists.

But the Huawei statement said the US decision “will have a serious impact on a wide number of global industries” by creating uncertainty in the chip sector and technology supply chains.

US officials said Huawei had been circumventing sanctions by obtaining chips and components that are produced around the world based on American technology.

Washington last year said it would blacklist Huawei from the US market and from buying crucial American components, though it has extended a series of reprieves to allow US businesses that work with Huawei time to adjust.

On Friday it extended this reprieve by another 90 days but said these exceptions are not likely to be extended further.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had said that even as Huawei seeks to develop its own components in response to US sanctions, “that effort is still dependent on US technologies”.

US officials accuse Huawei, the world’s biggest supplier of telecom network equipment and number two smartphone manufacturer, of stealing American trade secrets and say it could allow Beijing to spy on global telecoms traffic.

Huawei strenuously denies the charges, saying the United States has never provided any proof of a security threat.

The sanctions against the company have been a key driver of heightened US-China trade tensions

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- © AFP 2020  

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