What happened: Chinese telecom titan Huawei has asked its Japanese partners to increase its supply of smartphone parts in a bid to avoid production disruptions as US pressure on Chinese tech companies mounts, Nikkei reported on Wednesday. Murata Manufacturing, one of Huawei’s parts suppliers in Japan, is believed to have received orders twice the usual volume and plans to increase shipments accordingly, the report said. Huawei is scheduled to launch new models this summer.
Why it’s important: The US has accused Huawei of spying for the Chinese government, urging allies to stop using the company’s equipment to construct 5G networks. In response, Huawei reportedly plans to sue the US government for banning federal agencies from purchasing Huawei equipment. Last April, US temporarily banned China’s second-largest telecom manufacturer ZTE from buying American electronic parts due to violation against Iran sanctions, plunging the company into an operating crisis. Though Huawei has its own chips and since increased its own semiconductor research and development, the boost in orders indicate the company still relies largely on overseas parts.