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Japan firms act as Huawei ban spreads worldwide

  • May 23, 2019
  • , The Japan News , 4:55 p.m.
  • English Press

Moves to suspend trade related to smartphones and other products made by Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. are spreading among manufacturers.Panasonic Corp. is suspending transactions of some components for Huawei, as is British semiconductor design firm Arm Ltd., which is owned by SoftBank Group. An export ban against Huawei imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has unfolded to involve a wide range of companies.


Panasonic supplies electronic components and other smartphone-related products to Huawei. Following the U.S. export ban, the Japanese company has decided to halt trade with Huawei and its 68 affiliates for some products. Panasonic’s products containing parts and technologies procured from U.S. companies could become subject to the trade suspension, and the company is looking into such products.


An official of Kyocera Corp., which supplies capacitors and other products, said: “We are collecting information and scrutinizing the possible impact. We are considering various possibilities.”


At a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Yukio Iimura, chairman of the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association, said, “This matter could have a significant impact on capital investment for putting 5G [fifth generation] technology to practical use and supply chains for that.”


Outside of Japan, the BBC reported Wednesday that Arm has notified its employees that it is suspending business with Huawei. Arm’s design information is said to be used in more than 90 percent of semiconductors, which are the “brains” of smartphones. If business is halted, Huawei could find it difficult to produce its own chips for smartphones.


Following the media report, Arm released a statement, saying the company values its relationship with the chip division of Huawei, which is its longtime partner, and is hopeful for a swift resolution on this matter.


In Japan, three major mobile phone carriers, including NTT Docomo, Inc., have announced their decisions to suspend reservations or to postpone sales of Huawei’s new models.

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