Monday, 15 July 2019 09:04

Huawei planning big staff cuts in US: report Featured

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Huawei planning big staff cuts in US: report Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies is reportedly planning to lay off a large number of staff from its operations in the US due to its being placed on Washington;'s Entity List which prevents it from using American components unless specific permission is granted.

A report in The Wall Street Journal said the cuts would take place at the company's R&D subsidiary Futurewei Technologies which employees about 850 people.

The newspaper cited anonymous sources as saying the numbers were in the hundreds, adding that some of the Chinese employees were being given the option of continuing to work with the company back in China.

Being placed on the Entity List means that components which have more than a certain percentage of content of American origin cannot be used by Huawei without permission.

Last Wednesday, the US Department of Commerce said it would issue licences to Huawei for buying American products "where there is no threat to US national security".

Huawei was placed on the Entity List on 16 May. Five days later, the US Commerce Department said the ban would be eased for 90 days, so that existing networks and handsets which had already been sold by the Chinese firm would continue to receive software updates.

US companies, a number of processor manufacturers among them, have got around the ban by selling Huawei goods made by their branches in other countries.

US President Donald Trump has hinted on more than one occasion that Huawei could be used as a bargaining chip to settle the ongoing US-China trade war.

In June, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said the company's revenue was expected to fall to US$100 billion in 2019, compared to US$105 billion in 2018. In February, a target of US$125 billion had been set for the 2020 financial year.

Contacted for comment, a Huawei spokesperson said the company was not making any public comment on these claims.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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