What you need to know

  • The Wall Street Journal has claimed Huawei is planning extensive layoffs at its U.S.-based R&D subsidiary Futurewei.
  • Futurewei currently employs 850 people at its research labs spread across the U.S.
  • Chinese employees working for Huawei in the U.S. have reportedly been given an option to return to China and keep their jobs.

Huawei will reportedly soon lay off hundreds of workers in the United States, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. The report claims the layoffs will affect several hundred of about 850 people employed by its U.S.-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies. Futurewei has research labs in Texas, California as well as Washington state.

Some of the employees working for the company in the U.S. have already been told that they will be laid off, while several others are expected to be notified soon. However, some of the Chinese employees have been given the choice of moving back to China and continue working for Huawei.

Huawei was put on the entity list back in May by the Commerce Department, citing threats to national security. The move barred U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei without a special license. At the G20 summit last month, Donald Trump finally announced an ease on the trade ban on Huawei, allowing U.S. firms to continue doing business with the Chinese manufacturer, as long as there is no threat to national security. However, Huawei remains barred from selling its 5G equipment in the United States. Apart from the U.S., Huawei has also been banned from selling 5G equipment in Australia.

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A separate report published by Reuters claims the U.S. may approve licenses for companies to resume sales to Huawei in just two weeks. The Commerce Department is currently said to be "evaluating all licenses and determining what is in the nation's best national security interest." Huawei had spent a total of $70 billion buying components for its products last year, out of which $11 went to U.S. firms such as Qualcomm, Intel, and Micron.