The founder of Huawei expressed confidence that Washington’s curbs on technology sales to the Chinese tech giant will have little impact and said on Tuesday, May 21, it is talking with Google about “emergency relief” for loss of services for its smartphone business.
Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers, has “supply backups” if it loses access to American components, Ren Zhengfei told Chinese reporters. His comments were broadcast by state TV and other outlets.
The Trump administration said Huawei is a security risk. Its order last week requires government permission for sales of U.S. technology to the company, which denies accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.
Those controls “will have no impact within this company” and none on development of next-generation telecom technology, Ren said. He said some low-end business might be affected.
Huawei has developed its own chips for some smartphones and other products but relies on American suppliers for its most advanced components.
Huawei and Google are discussing possible “emergency relief measures” for its smartphone business, which might lose access to some of the American company’s services, Ren said. He gave no details.
Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., said Monday its basic services will still work on Huawei smartphones, which use its Android operating system.
Google gave no details of what services might be curtailed, but the company would be barred from transferring hardware or software directly to Huawei, which would affect maps or other services that require the American company’s support.
Huawei is the No. 2 global smartphone brand by sales volume behind South Korea’s Samsung. Industry analysts said it might struggle to compete if it cannot line up replacements for Google services that run afoul of the U.S. curbs.
“I should say this impact will be very big, but Google is an extremely good company,” Ren said. “We are discussing emergency relief measures.”