Huawei hits back against US decision to extend ban

Published: 19 May 2020 - 8:20 a.m.

Chinese tech giant Huawei has issued a strongly worded statement, vociferously opposing the US’ decision to extend a ban that prevents it from doing business with US firms.

The US added Huawei to its “Banned Entity” list on the 16th of May 2019, effectively banning the US firms from doing business with the world’s biggest 5G equipment vendor. A year later, US President Donald Trump opted to extend the ban for another 12 months. The ban has made it impossible for Huawei to use Google’s Android operating system on its newest handsets, forcing the company to launch its own OS late last year.

“Huawei categorically opposes the amendments made by the US Department of Commerce to its foreign direct product rule that target Huawei specifically,” a Huawei spokesman said.

“The US government added Huawei to the Entity List on May 16, 2019 without justification. Since that time, and despite the fact that a number of key industrial and technological elements were made unavailable to us, we have remained committed to complying with all US government rules and regulations. At the same time, we have fulfilled our contractual obligations to customers and suppliers, and have survived and forged ahead against all odds.

“Nevertheless, in its relentless pursuit to tighten its stranglehold on our company, the US government has decided to proceed and completely ignore the concerns of many companies and industry associations.”

Huawei called the decision to extend the ban “arbitrary” and “pernicious”, adding that it threatened to undermine the global telecommunications industry, impacting Huawei’s work with operators and governments in more than 170 countries.

“It will also impact communications services for the more than 3 billion people who use Huawei products and services worldwide. To attack a leading company from another country, the US government has intentionally turned its back on the interests of Huawei's customers and consumers. This goes against the US government’s claim that it is motivated by network security.”

To date, the US government has not provided any evidence to substantiate its claims that Huawei’s networks are less secure than those of its competitors. However, the US government remains resolute that it is not prepared to work with the Chinese firm.

Historically, Huawei has spent billions of dollars every year with US firms, mainly for IP rights and product licenses. The world’s second largest smartphone handset producer warned that the US government’s decision would have significant financial implications for US firms.

“This decision by the US government does not just affect Huawei. It will have a serious impact on a wide number of global industries. In the long run, this will damage the trust and collaboration within the global semiconductor industry which many industries depend on, increasing conflict and loss within these industries.

“The US is leveraging its own technological strengths to crush companies outside its own borders. This will only serve to undermine the trust international companies place in US technology and supply chains. Ultimately, this will harm US interests.

Huawei is undertaking a comprehensive examination of this new rule. We expect that our business will inevitably be affected. We will try all we can to seek a solution. We hope that our customers and suppliers will continue to stand with us and minimise the impact of this discriminatory rule,” the statement concluded.

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