Following last week’s rumour that Huawei would be laying off hundreds of workers from one of its US-based subsidiaries, the Chinese tech giant has cut over 600 of 850 positions from its Futurewei Technologies research arm.
In a statement released earlier this week, Huawei says that the layoffs were due to a “curtailment of business operations”, which we’re interpreting as fancy speak for “we’re not happy with the US trade ban”.
According to a report by Reuters, an employee claims that the writing was on the wall the moment the ban was announced.
“On the 17th of May, Huawei asked everyone at Futurewei to upload everything to the Huawei cloud, right before the ban took effect,” the insider said. “After that basically Futurewei has stopped doing any work — almost stopped everything.”
Futurewei Technologies — which accounts for more than half of the 1,500 employees Huawei employs in the US — had filed more than 2,100 patents in telecommunications, 5G cellular networks as well as video and camera technologies. According to the terms of the ban, the company will not be able to export any US-originated technology to China without a license.
US President Donald Trump reportedly met with several Huawei suppliers including Google and Qualcomm earlier this week to discuss the recent lifting of the ban, but it looks like the damage to China-US relations has already been done.
Header Image Credit: Reuters