Monday 18 May 2020 5:34 pm

Huawei says ‘pernicious’ new US sanctions puts its survival at stake

Huawei has slammed “pernicious” new sanctions rolled out by the US last week, warning they could put the Chinese tech giant’s survival at stake.

“We expect that our business will inevitably be affected. We will try all we can to seek a solution,” Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping said in a speech this morning.

“Survival is the key word for us at present,” he added.

Read more: Donald Trump extends US Huawei ban by another year

The US added Huawei to a trade blacklist last year over national security concerns, essentially blocking US companies from doing business with the Chinese telecoms group.

But the commerce department last week said it would extend the sanctions to require licences for sales to Huawei of semiconductors made abroad with American technology.

US authorities said the move was designed to “narrowly and strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors”.

But the group today hit back at the beefed up sanctions, saying the decision was “arbitrary and pernicious, and threatens to undermine the entire industry worldwide”.

“Huawei categorically opposes the amendments made by the US Department of Commerce to its foreign direct product rule that target Huawei specifically,” the company said in a statement, adding that previous sanctions were also unjustified.

“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.”

US President Donald Trump has spearheaded a campaign against Huawei, urging allies to block the Chinese firm amid concerns its technology could be used for spying by authorities in Beijing — allegations it has always denied.

Despite the warnings the UK has allowed Huawei to build non-sensitive parts of the country’s 5G networks, though it will implement a 35 per cent market share cap.

Read more: Former BT chairman Mike Rake joins Huawei UK board

The sanctions have taken their toll on Huawei, which has been forced to develop its own operating software after being banned from using Google’s Android.

The company missed its revenue target by $12bn in 2019 and has warned of an additional financial strain this year caused by the coronavirus crisis.

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