Huawei Persists in Developing Cutting-Edge Semiconductors


By Shuhei Yamada Jun 12, 2021 01:11 PM

(Nikkei Asia) — Huawei Technologies is adamant in its pursuit of developing world-beating semiconductors despite toughened U.S. sanctions that have robbed it of the contract manufacturers it had relied on, according to Catherine Chen, a Huawei director and senior vice president, who added that the company has no intention of restructuring chip design subsidiary HiSilicon.

HiSilicon had more than 7,000 workers on its payroll in 2020, a number that would be difficult to maintain by a subsidiary that is expected to go years without contributing to earnings. But Huawei is privately held and unaffected by external forces, and its management has clearly shown it intends to retain HiSilicon, Chen said.

In May 2020, the U.S. government barred companies using American-made products or services from doing business with Huawei, in principle. As a result, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest contract semiconductor maker, and other companies have stopped accepting new orders from Huawei.

HiSilicon, a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2004, has been developing chips for Huawei smartphones and other devices; it is considered one of the world’s most advanced chip developers.

It logged $385 million in sales in the first quarter of 2021, according to British research company Omdia. The figure represents a plunge of 87% from the April-June period of 2020, when HiSilicon’s sales peaked.

TSMC was HiSilicon’s essential outsourcing contractor, which means HiSilicon’s sales will likely drop to nil sooner or later. But Chen has told Nikkei and other news outlets that Huawei has no plans to reduce HiSilicon’s workforce.

Chen said HiSilicon continues to develop semiconductors and can manage despite the sanctions, which are expected to remain for two to three years.

Chen said other countries are promoting their own semiconductor industries, which will help HiSilicon gain new supply chain partners that do not rely on U.S. technology. Chen said she expects this to play out in a few years’ time.

HiSilicon is also pursuing other business lines. In May, it announced its participation in a project to achieve widespread use of 8K ultra-high-definition TVs.

With expectations that the U.S. and China will continue their battle for high-tech supremacy, Huawei has pushed ahead in developing proprietary technologies at a research center that the company considers a modern-day Noah’s Ark, one that floats above a flood of difficulties.

This story was first published in Nikkei Asia.

Source: Caixin “Huawei Persists in Developing Cutting-Edge Semiconductors”

Note: This is Caixin’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’s views.


Weekly poll: is HarmonyOS as promising as Android or is it another Windows Phone?


PETER, 06 JUNE 2021

Huawei wants to be in control of its own destiny and this week it took a large step in that direction – it announced HarmonyOS 2.0, which will replace Android on its smartphones, tablets and watches.

And not just on new models either, the company announced plans to convert around 100 current devices (phones and tablets) from Android to Harmony. Strangely, right now we only know of plans to convert devices in China where the lack of access to the Google Play Services was essentially meaningless.

   
The first batch of devices to come with HarmonyOS out of the box

What will happen to current devices abroad? Unclear. But the Huawei Watch 3 is already listed in Germany (with a pre-order deal), so HarmonyOS will be available abroad in one form or another.

We saw Harmony running on the new MatePad Pros and the Watch 3 duo. It wants to be an OS that powers and connects a wild variety of devices.

A key technology is what Huawei calls the “DSoftbus”, a standardized way to connect multiple devices (of varying types) to create one “super device”. This allows one device to control others and data can be shared freely between all of them.

  
The Harmony control panel can control smart devices • It can also create super devices

Related to that is the HarmonyOS control panel. This does more than letting you toggle Wi-Fi on and off, you will also be able to control smart devices in your home.

Super devices can also be controlled from the panel, for example, you can cast a video from your phone to a smart TV and send the audio to wireless earbuds, all without reaching for the remote control. Huawei has worked hard to ensure that the video and audio remain in sync in such use cases.

 
Two phones can be combined into a super device so you can use both their cameras

If you pair a computer and a phone or tablet as a super device, you can transfer files to and from with a simple drag and drop. A key feature is the simplicity of the setup, HarmonyOS avoids the lengthy process of pairing devices and presents a simple, intuitive interface. On the Windows side of things Huawei took the native approach – the phone simply appears as a drive when hooked to your laptop, so you can use Explorer. This should work seamlessly with basically any Windows app too.HarmonyOS and Windows can cooperate seamlesslyHarmonyOS and Windows can cooperate seamlessly

Android has to deal with a fractured ecosystem that makes such integrated features harder to pull off. For example, Samsung has SmartThings and gets special treatment in Microsoft’s My Phone app for Windows. Xiaomi smart gadgets are controlled through Mi Home instead. Phone/laptop interaction is similarly kept behind walled gardens.

Of course, Huawei now faces the challenge of talking other makers into supporting the Harmony way of doing things.

So, has Huawei built a better mouse trap? Or do you think this will go the way of Windows Phone?

Source: m.gsmarena.com “Weekly poll: is HarmonyOS as promising as Android or is it another Windows Phone?”

Note: This is m.gsmarena.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China Has Been Investing Heavily in Lithography Technology


On June 5, 2021, I posted an article “ASML Worries when China Masters Lithography Technology 3 years later, ASML Has to Withdraw from World Market”. Now there is the question whether China is capable of doing so.

I don’t know. But China has been investing heavily in enterprises related to lithography systems. For example, according to HK01’s report “Huawei has invested in lithography industry: becomes seventh largest sharehoder of RSLASER”. RSLASER is a company specialized in laser the core technology for lithography systems. In September 2020, a subsidary wholly owned by Huawei took 4.76% shares in RSLASER. Due to Huawei and other entities’ heavy investment in the company, on June 2, 2021, RSLASER raised its registered capital from 120 million to 202 million yuan.

RSLASER is China’s largest and world 3rd largest enterprise of 193nm Arf eximer laser. Since April 2020, it has been building its lithography light source manufacture and service base with total investment of 500 million yuan. The base will have construction area of 12,000 square meters and the capacity to produce 30 various equipments a year including RS222 lithography eximer laser and eximer laser for lithography system.

As China is quite advanced in laser technology, I will not be surprised if China is able to master EUV lithograpy technology in three years

Comment on by Chan Kai Yee on HK01’s report, full text of which in Chinese can be viewed at https://www.hk01.com/%E5%8D%B3%E6%99%82%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B/635030/%E8%8F%AF%E7%82%BA%E6%8A%95%E8%B3%87%E5%85%89%E5%88%BB%E6%A9%9F%E9%A0%98%E5%9F%9F-%E6%88%90-%E7%A7%91%E7%9B%8A%E8%99%B9%E6%BA%90-%E7%AC%AC%E4%B8%83%E5%A4%A7%E8%82%A1%E6%9D%B1


Huawei calls on an old friend, Russia, as U.S. sanctions bite down


By Eva Dou, Pei Lin Wu and Isabelle Khurshudyan May 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. GMT+8

Last month, Huawei’s president of its European and Russian research institutes, Zhou Hong, visited Novosibirsk State Technical University in Siberia. At a conference table adorned with the Russian and Chinese flags, Zhou and his hosts discussed how Russian universities could help the Chinese tech giant.

“It’s now very important for Russian researchers to work with partners at this level,” rector Anatoly Bataev told Zhou, according to an account published by the school. “We’re ready to assist in organizing such a consortium.”

Huawei’s presence in the West has plummeted since a U.S. trade ban, but in Russia, it’s expanding. The company urgently needs to replace U.S. technologies in its supply chain — and it has willing research partners in Russia.

Huawei tested AI software that could recognize Uyghur minorities and alert police, report says

One result of the partnerships will launch June 2: a replacement for Google’s Android operating system for smartphones. Huawei’s HarmonyOS was built with help from the company’s Russia research teams, which encompass some 1,500 staffers in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and Minsk, Belarus, according to Russia’s state-run Sputnik News.https://833633f7eb9fe0e41210681904ea1736.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Huawei’s Russian push comes as Beijing and Moscow are drawing closer under U.S. pressure. U.S. officials have accused Huawei and other Chinese tech giants of posing national security threats, while charging Russia with cyberattacks. Beijing and Moscow dispute the allegations.

Speaking with China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Sino-Russia relations the “best in history” and said Moscow was ready to strengthen strategic coordination. Putin has previously accused the United States of attacking Huawei to hold back China’s development.

Huawei’s executives had hoped the Biden administration would lift restrictions. But this month, President Biden extended predecessor Donald Trump’s 2019 executive order barring U.S. firms from using Huawei telecom gear.

Huawei is also beginning its third year on the Commerce Department Entity List, which curbs U.S. businesses from selling it technology. The company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, said in February he feared it would be “extremely difficult” to get off the list.

Weeks after Huawei was slapped with the ban in 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Putin in Moscow, calling him his “best friend.” The same day, Russian telecom operator MTS pledged to work with Huawei on next-generation 5G networks.

Huawei’s new smartphone could be its last, as U.S. sanctions clamp down on access to chipsets

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the Chinese and Russian foreign ministries.

“If Russian specialists didn’t have something to offer, Huawei wouldn’t have come here,” Ivan Reva, dean of Novosibirsk State Technical University’s automation and computer engineering program, said in an interview. “They’re interested in our researchers and engineers.”

Early partners

The growing partnership has historical echoes. The Chinese Communist Party relied on Soviet scientists in its early years, when Western governments did not recognize Mao Zedong’s rule.https://833633f7eb9fe0e41210681904ea1736.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“There was a huge technological transfer from 1949 to 1960,” said Joseph Torigian, a historian at American University in Washington. “The Soviet Union sent experts to help with Chinese industrial development.”

Ren, Huawei’s 76-year-old founder, lived through that golden era of Sino-Soviet camaraderie. He studied the Russian language, according to an early military newspaper profile. He later wrote that he grew up with Pavel Korchagin and Tonia Toumanova — characters in Nikolai Ostrovsky’s novel “How the Steel Was Tempered.”

In 1996, Ren chose Russia as Huawei’s first international market and visited Moscow with thousands of Huawei brochures in tow, as he recounted in Huawei’s employee magazine. Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and China’s Jiang Zemin had just forged a strategic partnership, a move that former secretary of state Henry Kissinger called a “declaration of independence” by both countries from U.S. influence.

Beijing was anxious as tensions with the United States over Taiwan escalated to the point of potential war, while Moscow was facing Western blowback for its war in Chechnya, said Alexander Gabuev, a Carnegie Moscow Center senior fellow.

Ren would say that geopolitics opened the door for Huawei in Russia.

“With the improvement of Sino-Soviet relations, the United States will feel even without it, the world will still turn,” he wrote in 1996. “China will undoubtedly grow rich, and the United States cannot suppress it.”

A quarter-century later, Huawei has reverted to old form, declaring it doesn’t need the West. Russia is one of the few countries Ren is known to have visited since his daughter’s 2018 arrest in Canada.

Call for cooperation

Huawei’s Russian Research Institute has been working on a range of technologies, including chips and operating systems (OS), two areas affected by U.S. sanctions.

In Novosibirsk, Huawei is looking for programmers to write and improve code called “math libraries” for its Kunpeng processor, according to the institute’s hiring website. The company issued a “call for cooperation” to help it migrate applications to different chips: “Due to processor design differences, software components written in high-level languages cannot be accurately executed after recompilation in the new architecture.”

The institute is also seeking help in “greatly improving the business competitiveness of Huawei-developed OSs.”

Huawei did not reply to questions on whether these projects were related to the U.S. sanctions.

Huawei CEO tells staff to keep fewer records, write shorter memos

The research in Russia only partially offset the sanctions’ effect. Even as Huawei improves its chip algorithms, it still lacks a factory to manufacture them. All semiconductor contract manufacturers, called foundries, are off-limits because of their use of U.S. technology.

Analysts say it’s unclear whether Huawei’s core businesses can survive another two years, let alone the decade or more it will take for China to build a foundry free of U.S. intellectual property.

“Huawei is making heroic efforts to survive,” said Dan Wang, a Gavekal Dragonomics technology analyst. “But no technology company has much room for maneuver if it lacks semiconductors.”

In recent speeches, Ren has scaled down ambitions from global expansion to servicing Chinese coal mines, from leapfrogging the United States in innovation to survival. He has dubbed Huawei’s self-sufficiency push “Nanniwan,” after a gorge where Chinese soldiers grew their own food in 1941 during a Japanese economic blockade.

Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu told reporters in March that the company was relying on stockpiled chips to fulfill orders. He declined to say how long supplies would last, or what Huawei would do when the company ran out.

‘Higher salaries than Google’

In May 2019, weeks after being cut off by Google, Ren declared Huawei would vie with the U.S. giant for talent in Novosibirsk, home to international-level computer programmers.

“Starting today, we will offer them higher salaries than Google, to innovate on Russian soil,” he said in a speech.

Huawei’s Russia-based researchers have since filed for patents related to 5G and artificial intelligence.

Not everyone has been happy about Huawei’s recruiting effort.

“Not only do they undermine Russia’s sovereignty in information security, they are also completely destroying the labor market,” Ilya Sachkov, CEO of cybersecurity firm Group-IB, told Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in a panel discussion in July 2020.

He said Huawei was offering salaries of $16,300 to $20,400 a month, five or six times prevailing rates.

Huawei’s Russia Research Institute is still seeking researchers and interns for projects such as facial recognition and video surveillance in Moscow, speech recognition in Nizhny Novgorod and 6G technology in St. Petersburg.

“The need to combine software implementations and mathematical algorithms presupposes high qualifications at the postgraduate level and above,” one job listing says. Another reads: “It is enough to be an expert in one of these topics.”


Natasha Abbakumova contributed to this report.

Source: washingtonpost.com “Huawei calls on an old friend, Russia, as U.S. sanctions bite down”

Note: This is washingonpost.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Huawei HarmonyOS launch shows breaking of US technology myth


By Xie Jun and Ma Jingjing

Published: May 25, 2021 10:39 PM

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is set to introduce its HarmonyOS for its mobile phones at the beginning of June, a move which not only shows the company’s successful shift to a new business focus that can largely free it from US supply chains, but also shows China’s technological rise that starts to break the US monopoly of operating systems, experts said.

HarmonyOS, or Hongmeng in Chinese, the Huawei-developed operating system which is currently used in gadgets like wearable devices and smart screens, will be rolled out for its smart phones on June 2, Huawei confirmed with the Global Times on Tuesday.

The company posted a short video on its Weibo account showing the boot screen of its HarmonyOS mobile phone, with many netizens commenting that they are anticipating the arrival of self-developed operating systems.

Chinese telecom analysts spoke highly of Huawei’s HarmonyOS phones, as it could not only help Huawei break US technological blockade, but also shows China’s powerful entry into the software field that has long been dominated by US IT giants like Apple and Google.

Zhang Yi, CEO of the iiMedia Research Institute, said that launch of the HarmonyOS by Huawei marks a “historic turning point” that China is increasingly free itself from the US restrictions on Chinese tech firms and the country’s general information industry.

“It sends a signal that Chinese companies can fight their way out of the US technological blockade as long as they insist on independent innovation, and that the so-called US technology myth is not unbreakable like many people thought,” Zhang told the Global Times.

For the company itself, a shift to the software business is also a wise choice as the software sector, whose upgrading cycle is much slower than hardware sets, can help Huawei win more time when its mobile phone business is facing difficulties arising from US chip supply restrictions, Zhang said.

“I think it’s just a matter of time before China breaks through mobile chip technological bottlenecks, but the rise of the software business will help Huawei survive this period instead of being beaten down by sudden blows,” Zhang said.

Huawei has been caught in the Trump administration’s strike against China’s technological rise, which resulted in global chips supplies to Huawei being blocked.

Huawei has been caught up in the US government’s strike against China’s technological rise, with measures taken that include the suspension of chip supplies.

AI-driven Huawei

Experts stressed that Huawei has found a new breaking point in smart solutions, software design and operating systems after its handset business was hit by the US sanctions.

Huawei’s capability and flexibility in rapidly pivoting to new services to gain a foothold – for example, from making smart phones to the building of the HarmonyOS operating system, to smart cars and cloud computing – makes it increasingly immune from Western countries’ suppression in the industrial and supply chains, Fu Liang, a veteran telecom industry analyst, told the Global Times.

“Large-scale business transformation makes Huawei more like an internet and software company instead of a mobile original equipment manufacturer (OEM),” Fu said, adding that Huawei has a great role to play in the vast 5G+AI market in China with its 30 years’ experience in information and communication technology (ICT).

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in a memo recently that the company is focusing on software as the field’s development is fundamentally outside of US control, according to a Reuters report.

Huawei’s artificial intelligence business has flourished in multiple areas. For example, it has recently partnered with China Telecom’s branch in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province in building “intelligent mines,” arming sites with intelligent applications like 5G video communication and remote control workshops. It also recently released a “trajectory prediction” patent which can be used in AI self-driving.

Fu also said that Huawei’s software services may be exported to emerging countries given that many intelligent services and products do not need cutting-edge chips of 7nm or smaller.

Domestic support

Huawei’s launch of its self-developed operating system and other AI solutions are gaining wide support from domestic companies, which experts said can support the company to catch up with industry leaders like Apple and Google in about three to five years.

A group of local tech companies have been actively taking part in the joint construction of a self-developed ecosystem with Huawei. For example, Shanghai-based smart city services provider Yanhua Smartech said in February that part of the company’s software products are compatible with HarmonyOS, and the firm will continue to develop compatibility between its own products and HarmonyOS in line with market demand.

Huawei disclosed that about 300 million mobile phone sets will be installed with HarmonyOS by the end of 2021, with about 200 million being Huawei sets.

Zhang said that at a time when many Chinese companies are facing the threat of sanctions from the US, they are in urgent need of software that can replace US products.

“This need, plus China’s huge mobile phone user base and HarmonyOS’ advantage in integrating different platforms, a feature in which other systems like Android and iOS do not show particular superiority, I think HarmonyOS might become the world’s top operating system in about 3-5 years,” he noted.

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Software another path for Huawei to break US attack: analyst


By Global Times

Published: May 26, 2021 10:08 PM

From the launch of its self-developed Harmony operating system (OS) to being a provider of information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, Huawei is putting more effort into strengthening its software ability and shifting away from being a hardware manufacturer to shake off the negative effects of the US chip ban.

The efforts, with the rapid development of China’s 5G sector, are paying off — and they could help Huawei expand quickly at home and abroad, as the Chinese technology company will be largely immune from further US assaults, analysts said.

“As an ICT solutions provider, Huawei has so far cooperated with mines, photovoltaic enterprises and finance firms, as well as ports and pig farms. It is transforming itself from being a hardware supplier to a software and services supplier,” Ma Jihua, a veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Profits from being a services vendor could be huge and possibly even better than being a hardware producer, Ma said.

Last year, as part of a plan to deal with the US’ technology crackdown, Huawei reportedly kicked off a project called Nanniwan, named after a revolutionary site in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, which will focus on gadgets that shun US technologies.

A large-scale production campaign was launched in Nanniwan during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, aiming to tackle economic hardships, achieve self-sufficiency in production.

In February this year, Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder and CEO, confirmed the existence of the project, explaining that this term actually refers to production and self-rescue.

“For example, we have made great breakthroughs in the fields of coal, steel, music, smart screens, PCs, and tablets. So, we can survive without relying on mobile phones.”

Analysts said that after almost a year of development and progress, the ICT sector is the area where Huawei has made the most breakthroughs so far.

For instance, investment in the vehicle sector has already become profitable. Other than providing smart solutions for a dozen carmakers, Huawei also announced plans to help carmakers sell vehicles through its flagship stores across China – the places where it has been selling smartphones.

In the coming Internet of Things (IoT) era, Huawei will definitely be at the forefront with its HarmonyOS and ability in 5G. It has the potential to surpass Apple and also Google, Ma said.

However, experts also cautioned that Huawei is facing fierce competition from domestic counterparts such as Xiaomi, which has made an early start in the smart home sector, and also from Alibaba and Tencent.

Moreover, Jiang Junmu, an industry analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the dilemma in the hardware segment under the US ban may hamper the company’s further expansion in the software business.

“Only the integration of software and hardware can give full play to the capabilities of products and services,” Jiang said.

Source: Global Times “Software another path for Huawei to break US attack: analyst”

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Huawei plans to launch new operating system for phones in June


Reuters May 25, 2021 4:24 PM HKT

China’s Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL) said it will launch its new Harmony operating system for smartphones on June 2, its biggest move yet aimed at recovering from the damage done by U.S. sanctions to its mobile phone business.

The use of its own operating system will mean it will no longer be reliant on Android. U.S. sanctions banned Google (GOOGL.O) from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based.

It was not immediately clear if it will be launching new smartphones at the same time or if there will be updates for existing phones or how fast the rollout might occur.

The new HarmonyOS will only go some way to mitigating the impact of the 2019 sanctions that also barred Huawei from accessing critical U.S.-origin technology, impeding its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

Once the world’s biggest smartphone maker, Huawei now is ranked 6th globally with a 4% market share in the first quarter.

The previous Trump administration argued that the Chinese telecommunications giant posed a threat to U.S. national security – a charge that Huawei has denied.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei this week called on staff to “dare to lead the world” in software in a bid to move into business areas that can’t be affected by U.S. sanctions, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The company will need to take a more “open source” approach to development and should try to attract more software experts from overseas as part of the pivot, it said.

Source: Reuters “Huawei plans to launch new operating system for phones in June”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Switch to software innovation, Huawei founder urges


George Russell May 25, 2021

(ATF) Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei has called on the company to pursue software innovation as the company seeks growth beyond the hardware operations that US sanctions have crippled – just as Washington lawmakers seek tougher curbs on the company.

An internal memo from Ren seen by Reuters is the clearest evidence yet of the company’s direction as it responds to the immense pressure sanctions have placed on the handset business that was at its core.

Ren said in the memo the company was focusing on software because future development in the field is fundamentally “outside of US control and we will have greater independence and autonomy”.

As it will be hard for Huawei to produce advanced hardware in the short-term, it should focus on building software ecosystems, such as its HarmonyOS operating system, its cloud AI system Mindspore, and other IT products, the note said.

Former US president Donald Trump put Huawei on an export blacklist in 2019 and barred it from accessing critical US-origin technology. Joe Biden’s administration has given no indication it will reverse Trump’s sanctions.

The blacklist also barred Google from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based.

Huawei’s 2020 annual report did not break down how much of its 891 billion yuan ($138.70 billion) revenue was from its software.

Ren’s call comes as a bipartisan effort in Congress seeks to tighten the screws on Huawei and several other Chinese tech companies.

Senators Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, jointly introduced the Secure Equipment Act of 2021 to direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify that it will no longer review, or approve, applications from companies on the FCC’s “Covered List.”

The bill would prevent further integration and sales of Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua – all Chinese state-backed or directed firms – in the US, regardless of whether federal funds are involved.

In 2020, the FCC adopted new rules to require US telecommunications carriers to rip out and replace equipment provided by Huawei, ZTE, and other covered companies that the US says pose a risk to national security.

Those rules only apply to equipment purchased with federal funding and the same equipment can still be used if purchased with private or non-federal government dollars. “The Secure Equipment Act closes this national security loophole,” Rubio said.

With reporting by Reuters

Source: Asia Times Financial “Switch to software innovation, Huawei founder urges”

Note: This is Asia Times Financial’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


EXCLUSIVE Huawei founder urges shift to software to counter U.S. sanctions


David Kirton May 24, 2021 11:00 PM HKT

Founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL) Ren Zhengfei has called on the company’s staff to “dare to lead the world” in software as the company seeks growth beyond the hardware operations that U.S. sanctions have crippled.

The internal memo seen by Reuters is the clearest evidence yet of the company’s direction as it responds to the immense pressure sanctions have placed on the handset business that was at its core.

Ren said in the memo the company was focusing on software because future development in the field is fundamentally “outside of U.S. control and we will have greater independence and autonomy”.

As it will be hard for Huawei to produce advanced hardware in the short term, it should focus on building software ecosystems, such as its HarmonyOS operating system, its cloud AI system Mindspore, and other IT products, the note said.

Former U.S. president Donald Trump put Huawei on an export blacklist in 2019 and barred it from accessing critical U.S.-origin technology, impeding its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has given no indication it will reverse Trump’s sanctions.

The blacklist also barred Google (GOOGL.O) from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based.

Huawei’s 2020 annual report did not break down how much of its 891.4 billion yuan ($138.70 billion) revenue was from its software.

OPEN SOURCE APPROACH

Ren’s note also said the software push would depend on finding the right business model and that the company should adopt an open source approach, calling on staff to “absorb nutrients” through open source communities.

He said the company’s Welink business communication platform had relied on traditional software licensing, which was unsuited to cloud computing and inferior to a rival product from tech giant Alibaba (9988.HK).

Given the difficulty of working in the United States, Ren’s note said the company should strengthen its position at home and build up its territory with a view to possibly excluding the United States.

“Once we dominate Europe, the Asia Pacific and Africa, if U.S. standards don’t match ours, and we can’t enter the U.S., then the U.S. can’t enter our territory,” it said.

Ren’s note confirms a direction implied by previous announcements from the company that hinted at a shift away from handset hardware.

Rotating chairman Eric Xu in April said the company would invest more than $1 billion this year in its intelligent driving business.

It is also expanding its smart car partnership with state-owned Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd to include the design and development of auto-use semiconductors, sources told Reuters earlier this month.

Apart from the pressure of sanctions, Huawei is known for its gruelling work culture and the note recommended the software teams should hire psychology professionals to help young recruits who might find the company emotionally challenging.

“Now some young people have high IQs, but their EQ might be low, and their mentality is not mature, and it’s easy for them to get sick,” Ren said.

($1 = 6.4270 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Source: Reuters “EXCLUSIVE Huawei founder urges shift to software to counter U.S. sanctions”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Huawei still tops global telecom equipment makers in 2020


By Global Times

Published: Mar 09, 2021 07:53 PM

A Huawei 5G base station installed on a rooftop in Zurich in 2019. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies remained top ranked in the global telecom equipment market during coronavirus-plagued 2020 with increased business revenue, despite a US-led discriminative crackdown, an industry report said.

Huawei had a 31-percent market share in terms of global telecom equipment revenue in 2020, followed by Nokia and Ericsson, each having a 15-percent share. Chinese telecom equipment vendor ZTE was No.4 with a 10-percent share, according to the report released on Monday by market research firm Dell’Oro Group.

While both Ericsson and Nokia improved their radio access network positions outside of China, initial estimates suggest Huawei’s global telecom equipment market share, including in Chinese mainland, improved by two to three percentage points for the year.

“With investments in China outpacing the overall market, we estimate Huawei and ZTE collectively gained around three to four percentage points of global revenue share between 2019 and 2020, together comprising more than 40 percent of the global telecom equipment market,” said the report.

Although Huawei was affected in the 5G segment due to microchips supply cut due to a US government discriminative ban, its advanced 5G technologies still lead other suppliers by one or two years, and it has played an irreplaceable role in China’s rapid rollout of 5G base stations to date, telecom industry observers said.

China has 718,000 5G base stations, mostly in medium-sized to large cities, including 330,000 shared among the country’s four major telecom operators, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said. More than 600,000 5G base stations were built and put into operation in China in 2020.

“Unlike microchips supply for mobile phones, Huawei can easily manage the chip supply for its 5G base stations,” said Xiang Ligang, an independent telecom analyst, predicting faster growth of 5G shipment this year for Huawei, despite some Western government’s unfair geopolitical restrictions.

A senior executive of Huawei claimed earlier that the company has built more than 140 commercial 5G networks that are deployed in 59 countries and regions so far.

The COVID-19 pandemic-related supply chain disruptions that affected some telecom networks in the early part of 2020 were mostly alleviated toward the end of the year, the Dell’Oro report said.

Analysts at Dell’Oro remain optimistic about 2021 and project the overall telecom equipment market to advance 3-5 percent on a yearly basis.

Source: “Huawei still tops global telecom equipment makers in 2020”

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.