Huawei is said to be planning extensive layoffs in the US as the Chinese tech firm grapples with the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade ban.
The job cuts are expected to affect staff at the firm’s US-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies, which employs roughly 850 people across the country, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Huawei may slash hundreds of jobs, while Chinese employees in the US are being given the option to return home and stay with the company, according to the report.
Trump has added Huawei to a trade blacklist, effectively blocking American companies from doing business with the Chinese firm.
Staff at Futurewei are said to have faced restrictions on communicating with colleagues in Huawei’s China offices following the decision to roll out a ban on the tech firm.
It comes amid reports that the UK’s approach to Huawei will be a key factor in any trade deals with the US after Brexit.
Whitehall correspondence, seen by the Sunday Telegraph, revealed Trump’s negotiators have indicated that the next Prime Minister must fall in line with the US’s stance on the Chinese firm if he hopes to secure a post-Brexit trade deal.
British officials have reportedly advised that allowing Huawei to participate in the UK’s 5G network could be a deal-breaker, while a refusal to back a ban on the company could be viewed as “undermining Washington’s efforts to reinvigorate the World Trade Organisation”.
However, in an apparent softening of the US’s stance, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross last week said the government would issue licences to companies looking to sell to Huawei as long as there was no threat to national security.
The concession, which came amid trade talks between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit, followed warnings from US chipmakers that the ban would have a serious impact on their business.
British semiconductor giant Arm, which provides the technology for Huawei chips, has also paused its business with the firm amid ongoing uncertainty over the US clampdown.
Huawei has been contacted for comment.
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