Huawei Technologies’ founder Ren Zhengfei said that the Chinese telecoms giant has had to change a multitude of parts and tweak algorithms in its products to cope with Washington’s increased restrictions covering the export of US origin technology to the company.
“We have had to modify thousands of electronic boards, replace parts, and algorithms to cope with … (the ban) from the US,” said Ren Zhengfei in a recent address to the company’s new employees, according to a transcript released on Xinsheng Shequ, Huawei’s official employee community platform on Thursday.
The Trump administration in May expanded its sanctions against Shenzhen-based Huawei by requiring foreign chip makers that use US technology to apply for a licence to sell chips to the Chinese telecoms champion. That vastly expanded Washington’s reach by bringing the world’s biggest contract chip maker and key Huawei supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) under its remit.
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In his remarks to the employees, Ren added that Huawei has also had to make constant changes to its product designs amid the evolving US strategy of restricting the company’s access to US origin technology.
Ren, a former military engineer, acknowledged that Huawei has no room for retreat as it continues to weather an extremely difficult period. He said the company’s 90,000-strong research and development team would not need to be so large if it had better access to “high-quality resources like Western companies”.
Huawei has been on the ropes for some time but was able to claim the No 1 spot in smartphones in the second quarter. But analysts say Washington’s latest restrictions have plunged the company into a life or death situation.
“The US right now seems to be looking to kill Huawei [to] teach China a lesson,” Stewart Randall, head of electronics and embedded software at Shanghai-based consultancy Intralink, told the Post last month.
Additional reporting by Celia Chen
This article Huawei has had to make constant tweaks to products to cope with US bans, founder Ren Zhengfei says first appeared on South China Morning Post