Huawei still seeks solution to mobile chip crisis: exec

Attendees at the Huawei Connect 2020 in Shanghai on Wednesday Photo: Shen Weiduo/GT

Huawei has enough chips on hand for its base stations, including those for 5G service, while for mobile chips it is still looking for solutions, Guo Ping, Huawei‘s rotating chairman, said on Wednesday, adding that the company, which has strong chip design capability, is willing to help reliable chip producers since “to help them is also to help oneself.”

The remarks were made during the Huawei Connect 2020 event held in Shanghai on Wednesday, an annual flagship event hosted by Huawei for the global ICT industry, and the first large-scale in-person event it has held since the US chip ban that was effective September 15.

In response to questions about what it plans to do when chipsets run out, Guo said “the landlord‘s family still has surplus food,” and some US manufacturers are also applying for licenses from the US government. 

“The US sanctions not only restrict Huawei and restrict non-US companies from supplying Huawei, they also have a great impact on the sales of US companies‘ chips. We hope the US will reconsider its decision, and, if it is willing to provide chips, we will continue to purchase and use chips with US technology following the principles of fairness and globalization,” Guo said.

US chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) and Intel have reportedly obtained licenses from the US government to supply chips to Huawei after September 15 – the deadline set by the US government to cut off crucial chipset supplies to Huawei – which industry analysts said could be good news and would allow the company to continue its rising laptop business.

Industry insiders have predicted Qualcomm could be the next to obtain a license.

Huawei is also willing to use Qualcomm chips to produce mobile phones if it gets the license, Guo added.

Although senior Huawei executives said at different times that Huawei is in “extreme difficulty” amid the US ban, the company remains ambitious and is moving ahead on schedule despite headwinds.

Huawei said on Wednesday that it will continue to focus on applying ICT technologies to industries and providing scenario-specific solutions along with its partners to help enterprises grow their businesses and help governments achieve their strategic goals of boosting domestic industry, benefiting their constituents, and improving overall governance.

“We look forward to opening this new chapter together with our partners,” Guo said.

As to whether Huawei will resort to layoffs or other adjustments to deal with the crisis, Guo said Huawei‘s human resources policy is stable. “Huawei will continue to attract talent, since the key to solving Huawei‘s problems is talent. Turning sand into chips also depends on talent.”

As for individual markets, “they will adjust according to demand,” said Guo.


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