Chinese PC maker Lenovo on Sunday maintained that it would continue normal business relations with Huawei, after the US President Donald Trump issued an executive order last week to cut the telecommunications company off from American suppliers.
Rumors about Lenovo ending business ties with Huawei circulated widely on Chinese social media over the weekend. A netizen using the handle “Huiji” on the Chinese Q&A platform Zhihu said the PC maker caved to US pressure to avoid joining its fellow compatriot on a US blacklist. Another Zhihu user posted similar answers citing internal sources.
The two later apologized and deleted the posts after Lenovo threatened legal action. The world’s largest PC maker said in a WeChat announcement that Huawei was an “important client” and that it is maintaining normal relations with the Shenzhen company.
It also promised to continue supplying Huawei with products and services, with the caveat that it will strictly abide by the laws and regulations of the countries and regions where it does business. Some netizens commented that the suspension will come “sooner or later as the law is now clear” (our translation). Lenovo declined to comment when contacted by TechNode on Monday.
Lenovo has headquarters in Beijing and Raleigh, North Carolina, and has faced questions about its patriotism on the Chinese internet since a statement from its CEO, Yang Yuanqing, to global media in late 2018. Yang said that Lenovo was not a Chinese company, but a global company with a worldwide footprint. This sparked strong criticism in China, according to local media reports.
Netizens have accused the company of having pro-American views and discriminating against Chinese consumers over the issue of 11 global product recalls excluding China. Lenovo responded in a WeChat post earlier this month that it had no quality problems in some of the products, adding that the truth had been twisted, denigrating the company.
The rumors of Lenovo’s suspension followed shortly after Google reportedly ended some of its business with Huawei. According to Bloomberg reports on Monday, US tech giants including Intel and Qualcomm have joined Google in suspending business ties with Huawei to comply with Trump’s ban.