U.S. sanctions turn up heat but Huawei serving European 5G clients, executive says
ZURICH (Reuters) - Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is finding it harder to counter US sanctions that are supposed to hinder access to semiconductors but can still 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 <togetLO> 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 relationships with Huawei, denying US allegations that Huawei devices could be used for spying by Beijing.
"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, are seeing 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 essential telecommunications equipment, Orange <ORAN.PA> and Proximus <PROX.BR> selected Nokia <NOKIA.HE> last week to help build 5G networks in Belgium help.
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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