Paul van Gerven
1 April

The Chinese government will retaliate against US trade restrictions, Huawei warned after publishing its 2019 financial results. The telecom equipment maker suggested China might restrict sales of American products and switch to non-US suppliers. “The Chinese government will not just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered on the chopping board,” chairman Eric Xu told reporters at the launch of Huawei’s annual report.

Credit: Huawei

The US put Huawei on a blacklist last year, restricting supply of US-made goods to the company. According to Reuters, the Trump administration is also mulling measures to further tighten supply, even from non-US companies. Rumors have been circulating that any technology made using US equipment could be banned from being sold to Chinese customers. This would affect TSMC, for example.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Dutch government gave in to US pressure to – at least temporarily – block the shipment of an ASML EUV scanner to a Chinese customer. The US government doesn’t have any formal means to block the sale at the moment, but it successfully appealed to the Wassenaar Arrangement, which controls Western exports of technology with potential military use.

Meanwhile, the US measures already in place had a significant impact on Huawei’s results last year. Though revenue grew 19 percent, profit rose only 5.6 percent – the lowest increase in three years.