IT LOOKS like the partial reprieve for Huawei's operations in the US has come too late for hundreds of workers based there.
The company, which has around 1500 US workers, will be letting go of 'several hundred' staff from its R&D lab, run by subsidiary Futurewei Technologies.
Some have already been informed that they are for the chop, whilst others are being told today. Chinese workers will have the option of returning to China to work on an assignment there.
The report, which first appeared in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the recent relaxation of Huawei's 'ban' by The White House will not be enough to smooth over shattered relations between the brand and the land of the free.
It's thought that licences which will let US companies trade with Huawei could be rolled out within the fortnight, but this does not change the fact that Huawei remains on a US 'entity' list, meaning that working inside the US will remain hostile.
At this stage, it's not known if Google will apply for a licence. That decision will affect whether Huawei handsets will continue to run Android in its current form, or Huawei's own 'Harmony' OS (or whatever they're calling it this week) based on the open-source version of the operating system.
Huawei's EMUI interface is so far removed from stock Android that it probably wouldn't be too huge a wrench, providing customers don't mind the lack of Google apps.
Huawei has already cancelled the launch of its latest laptop in the US as well as divesting its undersea cable business. It's generally thought that this could be the tip of the iceberg if matters don't resolve themselves soon.
Here in the UK, a decision over Huawei's future in the 5G infrastructure space is still yet to be decided upon, despite the fact that both EE and Vodafone have launched their networks using Huawei kit.
Huawei, unsurprisingly, is yet to comment. μ
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