Huawei Technologies Co (華為), the telecom giant at the center of US-China tensions, yesterday said that it has “sufficient” inventory for its communications equipment business while it seeks out supplies of smartphone chips that have been cut off by a ban by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
The company has enough supplies to keep its enterprise and carrier units afloat, and it is developing new consumer devices to offset the hit to its smartphone business, Huawei chairman Guo Ping (郭平) told reporters in Shanghai.
It is still evaluating the impact of the US blacklist, which has greatly limited US suppliers’ businesses, Guo said, adding that Huawei is still willing to buy from those firms.
A White House ban on companies providing US technology to Huawei came into effect last week, cutting off the foreign-made semiconductors, software and other materials that are key to powering its mobile phones and 5G base stations.
While suppliers including Qualcomm Inc have applied for licenses to continue shipping to the Chinese company, it is unclear whether the US Department of Commerce would issue them.
“The US ban brings tremendous trouble in operation and production,” Guo said.
Huawei would provide full support to its supply chain, including in areas like talent, technology and standards, to help navigate the current restrictions, he said.
Huawei is also under siege elsewhere. Japan and Australia have joined the US-led boycott, while the UK is to prohibit its telecom operators from buying the company’s equipment starting next year.
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) remains under house arrest in Canada and is fighting a US extradition request on alleged trade-sanctions breaches.
Huawei’s first-half revenue grew 13 percent to 454 billion yuan (US$67 billion), the company said in July.
Profit for the six months to June jumped nearly 20 percent to about 41.8 billion yuan, Bloomberg calculations show.
Its enterprise business — including cloud, routers and other IT services — accounted for less than 10 percent of revenue during the period, while its carriers unit made up slightly over one-third.
Huawei consumer group chief Richard Yu (余承東) said at an event this month that curbs on chip supplies have affected smartphone shipments, which were 105 million units in the first half of this year after reaching 240 million last year.
Guo’s comments suggest that the firm might be holding out hope that the situation could improve after US elections in November.
“As Alexandre Dumas said, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words: wait and hope,” he said, quoting from The Count of Monte Cristo, a 19th-century novel about the eponymous count who gets revenge against those who conspired against him.
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