Huawei's US research arm slashes jobs | 2019-07-24

Huawei's US research arm slashes jobs

24 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

SANTA CLARA: China's Huawei Technologies laid off more than two-thirds of the 850-strong workforce at its Futurewei Technologies research arm in the United States, after being blacklisted by the government.

Futurewei, which has offices in Silicon Valley and the greater Seattle, Chicago and Dallas areas, said it cut more than 600 jobs. The unit, set up in part to work with universities and researchers, recorded US$510 million in operating costs last year, report agencies. Huawei is the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers. The U.S. Commerce Department in May placed the firm on its "entity list" of organizations that pose security risks. The Justice Department has filed charges against the firm alleging theft of trade secrets and other crimes.

Huawei said the job cuts, effective July 22, were "due to the curtailment of business operations" caused by the U.S. government's actions.

The trade blacklist has made it illegal for Futurewei to transfer sensitive technologies to its parent. The blacklist also restricts Huawei from purchasing products from U.S. technology companies.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump agreed at a meeting with the heads of top technology companies including Alphabet Inc's Google to make "timely" decisions on requests by U.S. companies to sell to Huawei.

Futurewei began laying off workers on Monday, Reuters had reported earlier citing employees, including one who spoke as he left the company's Silicon Valley campus.

One employee, who declined to give his name, said he had been laid off, as he put a bag full of personal belongings into his car. At least half a dozen staff with boxes were seen leaving the office before noon on Monday.