Panasonic halts some component shipments to Huawei amid U.S. ban

Panasonic halts some component shipments to Huawei amid U.S. ban

Japan's Panasonic Corp yesterday said it would stop supplying some components to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), joining a growing list of companies distancing themselves from the Chinese telecoms giant after a USA ban over security concerns.

According to industry insiders, Korean businesses could suffer billions of US dollars in losses if Huawei imports are halted, and the damage could escalate stratospherically if China retaliates.

Japanese multinational conglomerate Toshiba reportedly said it has resumed all shipments of electronic parts to Huawei.

They are cutting off business with the Chinese tech giant and some companies have asked employees to hold supplies until further notice.

Panasonic Corp said on its China website on Thursday that it is continuing to supply components to Huawei despite reports that it will cut cooperation.

The bill is aimed at preventing "companies subject to extra-judicial directions of a foreign adversary to infiltrate our nation's communications networks", said Democratic Senator Mark Warner.

The moves have prompted a parade of firms to step back from dealings with Huawei, including Google, whose Android operating system powers most of the world's smartphones.

Previously, about five people a day were looking to trade in their Huawei phones, but that has jumped to 20 in the last two days, said Zack, a salesman at Mobile Square in Singapore who declined to give his last name.

"It's kind of embarrassing to pull an iPhone out of your pocket nowadays when all the company executives use Huawei", he said. A direct result of the ban is that Huawei might have a harder time manufacturing Android smartphones and tablets, Windows computers, and other networking components that rely on parts from U.S. sellers.

Vodafone soon followed suit, announcing it was suspending pre-orders of Huawei 5G handsets. ARM said in an internal company memo that its designs contain technology of U.S. origin, according to a BBC report, which explains why the company would comply with the ban.

"We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world", a company spokesman said.

"We are now trying to confirm if our customers will be able to use the equipment with a sense of safety", SoftBank spokesman Hiroyuki Mizukami told AFP.

Without Huawei, EE will instead provide customers with 5G smartphones from Samsung, LG, and OnePlus to choose from.

Citing national security imperatives, the U.S. Commerce Department last week said companies wishing to export U.S. technology to Huawei must apply for a license - which the department indicated would be hard secure.

United States officials this week, however, issued a 90-day stay on the ban, saying breathing space is needed to avoid huge disruption. Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile confirmed they will stop selling Huawei smartphones, while other wireless service providers will wait and see.

Panasonic Corp.is suspending transactions of some components for Huawei, as is British semiconductor design firm Arm Ltd., which is owned by SoftBank Group.

"To say that they don't work with the Chinese government is a false statement", Pompeo told CNBC on Thursday, adding that Huawei was "deeply tied" to the Communist Party.

The state-owned China Daily newspaper said USA concerns about Chinese surveillance equipment maker Hikvision were for the self-serving aim of claiming the "moral high ground" to promote Washington's political agenda.

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