U.S. sanctions turn up heat but Huawei serving European 5G clients - exec
ZURICH, October 11 (Reuters). Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is having a harder time countering US sanctions designed to hinder access to semiconductors but still be able to serve European 5G network customers, a senior European manager told an Austrian newspaper.
The world's largest manufacturer of mobile telecommunications devices and smartphones was still looking for a solution to help millions of Huawei phone users after Google banned technical support for new Huawei phone models running the Android mobile operating system.
"Since the US sanctions last year, US semiconductor manufacturers are no longer allowed to supply us, so that our former US partners can no longer work with us. It has become even more difficult since August," said Abraham Liu, Huwaei's Vice President for Europe. said the courier newspaper.
He said Washington was "blackmailing" chipmakers to avoid ties with Huawei, denying US allegations that Huawei devices could be used by Beijing for spying.
"Nevertheless, we are confident that we can continue to serve our European customers in the 5G sector with the latest technology thanks to a lot of preparation and upfront investments," Liu was quoted as saying without going into detail.
"Private customers, cell phone owners, see great difficulties. There are 90 million European Huawei users. Google is no longer allowed to work with Huawei, so Google will no longer publish updates for Huawei smartphones with the Android operating system." he said. "We're still looking for a solution."
Under pressure from the US to ban the Chinese company from supplying vital telecommunications equipment, Orange and Proximus selected Nokia last week to help build 5G networks in Belgium.
EU members have intensified the examination of so-called high risk providers. This puts Huawei's governance and technology under scrutiny and is likely to lead other European operators to remove them from their networks, analysts say.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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