US trade ban is about tech dominance – Huawei

Restrictions introduced by Washington on Friday that ostensibly aim to allay U.S. cybersecurity concerns are really designed to safeguard American dominance of global tech, a senior Huawei Technologies Co. executive said Monday.

“The so-called cybersecurity reasons are merely an excuse,” Richard Yu, head of the Chinese tech giant’s consumer electronics unit, wrote in a post to his account on messaging app WeChat. “The key is the threat to the technology hegemony of the U.S.” posed by Huawei, he added.

Yu also posted a link to a Chinese article circulating on social media with part of its headline asking: “Why Does America Want to Kill Huawei?”

Huawei is hosting its annual analyst briefing in Shenzhen later on Monday, where it traditionally discusses its latest products and gives a business development update.

The Trump administration opened up a new front in its conflict with China on Friday by barring any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying Huawei without U.S. government approval. That means Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and its rivals will have to cut off the Chinese company unless they get waivers from the U.S. Commerce Dept.

The decision drew condemnation from Beijing, which regards Huawei as a national champion because of its success in dominating global networking technology. China and Huawei have threatened retaliation should the U.S. enact further measures to constrain the country’s largest tech company.

On Friday, the Global Times — a Chinese tabloid run by the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party — reported that Beijing stood ready to initiate a series of countermeasures.

The Trump administration sees Huawei as a dire security threat, an allegation the company denies. The latest restrictions inject fresh turmoil into a complex international ecosystem that produces computer parts, while escalating a campaign to contain Huawei and China’s technological ascent by cutting it off from vital gear.

Yu’s consumer unit is likely to get hammered most immediately, because it relies on TSMC for its most advanced products. Shares in Huawei suppliers including TSMC, AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. and Sunny Optical Technology Group Co. dived in Asia on Monday.

The U.S. already blacklisted Huawei last year, preventing American companies from supplying the Chinese company unless they got a license.

The latest move tightens those restrictions to prevent chipmakers — American or foreign — from working with Huawei and its in-house chip-design unit HiSilicon on the cutting-edge semiconductors they need to make smartphones and communications equipment.

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US trade ban is about tech dominance – Huawei