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Huawei’s HiSilicon says it has long been prepared for US ban

HiSilicon Kirin series HiSilicon

President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this week, effectively banning Huawei‘s telecommunications equipment. But the White House also placed the firm on the Commerce Department’s so-called Entity List.

The listing means Huawei can’t do business with U.S. companies without obtaining government approval. This might be even more damaging than the firm’s equipment ban.

ZTE was previously added to the Entity List and the manufacturer suffered greatly as a result, as it was forced to halt sales of many phones. After all, ZTE didn’t make its own chipsets and components. But Huawei has its own chip company — HiSilicon — and the division reportedly says it has long been prepared for this eventuality.

According to Reuters, HiSilicon president He Tingbo claimed in an internal letter that the company is able to ensure a steady supply and “strategic safety” of most parts. The letter adds that the chipmaker has been secretly working on backup products for years in the event that this scenario took place.

HiSilicon produces chipsets and modems for many Huawei phones, including virtually all of its flagship and mid-range models. But the manufacturer makes use of chipsets from U.S. companies in some lower end phones and all of its laptops.

Chipsets are one of many parts in a device though, but a Huawei spokesperson told Reuters that it would substitute prohibited U.S. parts for HiSilicon components where possible. Do you think Huawei will weather this storm? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

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