Huawei chairman labels ongoing US bans as 'non-stop aggression'

The Chinese company vows to continue investing in new technology despite 'great pressure'.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping.

Huawei's rotating chairman Guo Ping has announced the company will continue to do everything it can to strengthen its supply chain, despite continuing to encounter "great pressure" and being continuously "attacked".

"Huawei is in a difficult situation these days. Non-stop aggression has put us under significant pressure," he said on Wednesday, during his keynote at Connect 2020. 

"We're still assessing the specific impacts. Right now, survival is the goal."

Ping elaborated on this point, specifying that the continuous attacks he referred to have been coming from the US government.

"The US has been continuously attacking us and they have modified their laws for the third time, and that has posed great challenges to our production and operation," he said, speaking to media.

In August, US government expanded its restrictions on the Chinese tech giant by barring it from purchasing chips made by foreign manufacturers using US technology. It also added another 38 affiliates of Huawei to the Entity List, including Huawei Cloud Singapore and Huawei Cloud France.  

The United States also put a ban on US companies from buying, installing, or using foreign-made telecommunications equipment, citing cyber-espionage fears. The ban effectively targeted Chinese equipment providers, like Huawei, although no names were mentioned in the executive order.    

See also: Huawei rebukes US attempts to stymie foreign competition with chip rule

Despite the chipset ban, Ping said the company has "sufficient stock" to support its business.

"As for our chipsets for mobile phones, as we consume hundreds of millions of chipsets every year, we are still looking for ways to address the chipset for smartphones. But we also have been aware that US chip vendors are actively applying for licences to continue to supply to Huawei from the US government," he said.

Ping also took the opportunity on Wednesday to plead for "openness and cooperation".

"We hope the US government will give their rules and regulations a second thought," he said. 

"If they are willing to supply to us, we'd be willing to buy from them. At the same time, we'll continue to adhere to our procurement strategy … we believe a neutral benefit and collaboration is the best model for the global industry."

In the meantime, Huawei continues to be locked out from participating in building out 5G networks worldwide. The most recent occurrence was in Canada when local carriers Bell and Telus both announced they would not be continuing the use of Huawei equipment in their respective 5G networks.

Although not officially banned, Huawei has also not made inroads in New Zealand either, after GCSB prevented Spark from using Huawei kit in November 2018. 

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, although the UK government decided to limit the involvement of Huawei in January -- restricting it to a 35% cap of all radio equipment and preventing the Chinese giant from supplying any equipment for the core of any network, as well as banning the use of Huawei equipment at sensitive locations such as nuclear sites and military bases -- reports last month said that the decision to allow Huawei to participate would be reviewed

On Wednesday, Huawei also spoke about the company's decision last year to cut its headcount in Australia, which could result in as many as 400 redundancies over the next five years thanks to the ban placed on the company for 5G rollouts by the Australian government.

"Australia is a small market for us. It has never been a priority," Huawei board executive director David Wang said.

"We always prioritise our resources to serve high-quality customers. Because resources are limited, we need to fully utilise them to support the customers who really need us and support them to become successful. We make business adjustments according to the status or situation in different markets."

Despite remaining pressures, the company announced it is focused on combining connectivity, computing, cloud, artificial intelligence, and industry application technologies to deliver value to customers.

 "There are huge opportunities in that," Ping said.

Off the back of this commitment, the company together with Intel jointly launched the FusionServer Pro 2488H V6, the newest member of the FusionServer Pro product family.

Running on x86 architecture, FusionServer Pro 2488H V6 houses four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors in a 2U space, 48 DDR4 DIMMs to support up to 18TB, and 11 PCIe slots for local storage.

It comes as Intel was granted a licence by the US government to continue supplying certain products to Huawei, as reported by Reuters.

Updated 23 September 2020, 6:36pm (AEST): Comment about Australian market attributed to Huawei board executive director David Wang.

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