TOKYO: Japan’s Panasonic on Thursday said it would stop supplying some components to Huawei, joining a growing list of firms distancing themselves from the Chinese telecoms giant after a US ban over security concerns.
The announcement came a day after four major Japanese and British mobile carriers said they would delay releasing new Huawei handsets, reports AFP.“We’ve stopped all business transactions with Huawei and its 68 group companies… that are subject to the US government ban,” Panasonic spokesman Joe Flynn told AFP.
“Yesterday an internal instruction to fully enforce that rule was issued,” he added.
Flynn said Panasonic’s business with Huawei includes the supply of “electronic parts,” but declined to provide further details. Washington’s restrictions affect products made fully or partially in the United States, where Panasonic manufactures some of the components it supplies to Huawei, the Japanese firm said.
A Panasonic official declined to comment on what business the Japanese firm would continue to do with Huawei, though reports said the suspension would have a limited impact. Last week, US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to bar US companies from using foreign telecoms equipment deemed a security risk.
The move appeared aimed at Huawei, though the White House said no particular company or country was targeted.
It has prompted a parade of firms to step back from dealings with Huawei, including US internet giant Google, whose Android operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones.And on Wednesday mobile carriers in Japan and Britain said they were delaying releases of Huawei handsets.
Telecoms giant EE, owned by BT, was due to bring Huawei’s first 5G phone, the Huawei Mate 20X, to Britain, but the Chinese giant’s involvement in the country’s telecoms sector has become politically controversial.
EE chief executive Marc Allera said the company had “paused” the launch of Huawei’s 5G phones “until we get the information and confidence and the long-term security that our customers… are going to be supported”.