Huawei accuses US of guarding tech hegemony, not security

BEIJING • Restrictions introduced by Washington last Friday that ostensibly aim to allay US cybersecurity concerns are really designed to safeguard American dominance of global tech, a senior Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive said yesterday.

“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 US” 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 to host its annual analyst briefing in Shenzhen later yesterday, 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 last Friday by barring any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying Huawei without US government approval. That means Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) and its rivals will have to cut off the Chinese company unless they get waivers from the US Commerce Department.

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 US enact further measures to constrain the country’s largest tech company.

Last 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 Ltd dived in Asia yesterday.

The US already blacklisted Huawei last year, preventing American companies from supplying the Chinese company unless they got a licence. The latest move tightens those restrictions to prevent chip- makers — American or foreign — from working with Huawei and its in-house chip-design unit Hi- Silicon on the cutting-edge semiconductors they need to make smartphones and communications equipment. — Bloomberg