Founder and CEO of embattled Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei said on Thursday that it has started making 5G base stations without components from the United States, which placed the company on a trade blacklist in May.
Why it matters: The announcement indicates that the damage to Huawei’s telecom gear business from US trade restrictions barring the company from buying American-made components and technology has been limited, though they have resulted in the loss of access to key technologies needed to support its consumer business.
- Huawei announced earlier this month that is had shipped more than 200,000 5G base stations and secured over 50 5G contracts around the world.
- Last week, the company launched a new 5G flagship smartphone in Europe without popular Google apps and services such as YouTube and Gmail because of the US trade ban.
Details: Huawei will start mass-producing 5G base stations free of US components next month, Ren Zhengfei said on a panel discussion at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Thursday.
- The company will begin with producing 5,000 5G base stations a month during the initial phase, and annual production next year is expected to hit 1.5 million units, according to Ren.
- Ren said Huawei would still like to use US components if the ban is lifted because he company has “emotional ties” with long-time US suppliers.
- Huawei is willing to license its 5G mobile technology to a US company, Ren said, echoing his remarks earlier this month that he is open to selling the company’s 5G technology to Western firms for a one-off fee.