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3 July, 2019 - 20:07 By Tony Quested

Arm seeking clarity from US commerce chiefs on trade position with Huawei

Jerry Wang Huawei

Cambridge technology innovator Arm is on high alert following Donald Trump’s climbdown over the trade ban on Chinese company Huawei.

The embargo had forced Arm to stop supplying Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon because some of the relevant components were made in the US.

Announcing the U-turn, the President said: “US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei. We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.”

An Arm spokesperson told Business Weekly: “Arm is pleased to see the latest progress in discussions around Huawei. We are closely monitoring the situation and look forward to updated guidelines from the Commerce Department and how they apply to supplying our valued partner HiSilicon.”

Huawei’s UK CEO, Jerry Wang, has repeatedly refuted what he believes are politically motivated allegations that the company represents a security threat.

Huawei has had a successful 18-year relationship with the UK and is building an R & D hub in Cambridge.

“We supply every major telecoms operator in the UK, helping companies such as Vodafone, BT and EE to improve connectivity for their customers as well as offering our world leading smartphones,” says Wang. 

“We support 17,000 jobs either directly or through our supply chain. In the UK we are also subject to the most rigorous oversight in our sector, anywhere in the world.

“An independent study recently found that if Huawei were prohibited from taking part in 5G rollout in the UK, it would delay availability of this next generation of technology by 18-24 months and harm the economy to the tune of £6.8 billion.

“Continuing attempts by the United States to alienate our customers have a clear political motive in pursuit of a protectionist trade policy. We trust the people of the United Kingdom, with their innate common sense, will judge us on the basis of evidence and not on groundless accusations.”

There is a feeling in the US that Trump was forced to ease its stance against Huawei when Russia announced it would be using the Chinese company’s technology to roll out 5G.

Huawei is also in the frame for Germany’s 5G installation after Angela Merkel refused to follow the original US ban. Departing UK prime minister Theresa May had originally included Huawei in Britain’s 5G plans but a decision is in abeyance while her replacement is sought.

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