© Huawei_ General | March 02, 2020
Huawei warns it may not return to U.S. suppliers
Huawei has circumvented Trump’s ban on the sale of U.S. components to the Chinese telecom giant by ramping up efforts at self-relianceꟷbecoming its own supplier of the semiconductor chips it needs to produce the highly sought-after base stations, a critical component in 5G network rollouts around the world.
In a Bloomberg story today, Tim Danks, Huawei’s U.S.-based exec overseeing partner relations said that Huawei sold over 50,000 of the next-gen base stations in the fourth quarter of 2019ꟷabout 8% of its total number of base stations sold worldwide as of Februaryꟷand company is in the process of accelerating that effort. “It’s still our intention to return to using U.S. technology,” Danks told Bloomberg, adding that the longer Huawei goes without access to U.S. suppliers, the more unlikely it is to be able to return to using them. The company has shipped more than half a million base stations as of early February, mostly using stockpiled chips purchased before Trump’s ban took effect in May 2019. But as mobile phone companies race to upgrade networks to the new 5G standard, demand for base stations will remain high, resulting in Huawei boosting production at its top secret HiSilicon division. Last May, the same day Huawei was added to the U.S. Entity List, China implemented a two-year tax waiver for local chip design and software companies, including HiSilicon, in an attempt to speed up efforts to wean itself off American semiconductors.