Commentary on Political Economy

Wednesday 12 June 2019


HONG KONG—China’s Huawei Technologies Co. canceled the launch of a new laptop and paused production at its personal-computer business due to restrictions on buying U.S. components, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The moves mark Huawei’s first tangible setback caused by the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to ban American companies from selling supplies to the Chinese company.
Huawei, the world’s No. 2 smartphone brand, has a relatively small and new personal-computer business. It makes three laptops, the first of which made its debut in 2016. It relies on Microsoft Corp.’sWindows operating system and Intel Corp.’s INTC 0.11% chips.
The head of Huawei’s consumer business, Richard Yu, told CNBC on Wednesday that the Commerce Department caused the company to cancel its new laptop launch, adding that it may never release that product if it remains on the Commerce Department’s blacklist. DigiTimes reported earlier this week that Huawei halted laptop deliveries and development.
The Commerce Department banned American companies from selling components to Huawei due to national-security concerns, though it has granted suppliers temporary 90-day exemptions. U.S. officials say Beijing could order Huawei to tap into the hardware it makes to spy or disable communications. Huawei says those accusations are groundless.

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