After Google, Toshiba and several major groups stop or suspend their relationship with Chinese Huawei, victim of a decision by Washington to blacklist it.
The Japanese electronics giant Panasonic joined Thursday, May 23, 2019 the list of groups that announced cut some links with the Chinese manufacturer of smartphones , noting the decision of Washington to place Huawei on blacklist.
Toshiba suspends deliveries to Huawei
The news fell a day after the announcement by four major Japanese and British operators of the postponement of the launch of new Huawei models, these devices may lose much of their interest without the contribution of US technologies.
The Japanese Toshiba for its part “temporarily” suspend deliveries to Huawei, time to carry out the necessary checks, according to a spokesman. “We will take them back on a case-by-case basis when we have confirmed that our products do not use parts produced on American soil”, according to a spokesperson, speaking there also of “little impact”.
The shock wave has continued to grow since US President Donald Trump decided last week to ban exports of US technology products to certain companies deemed “at risk”.
This new stage in the all-out offensive against China, in the midst of a trade war, that particularly targets Huawei. Washington believes that the telecom giant, present in 170 countries, threatens its national security because of its close ties with the Chinese government, accusations of espionage that the group rejects.
Beijing reacted strongly, denouncing, through Foreign Minister Wang Yi, an “economic harassment” by the United States aimed at “hindering China’s development process,” and promising to “fight until ‘at the end “.
A 90-day delay has been granted by Washington, but several groups have preferred to take the lead in the face of uncertainties now hovering over Huawei products.
Panasonic will stop supplying components to Huawei and its 68 affiliates that are subject to the US government ban. These are products made completely or partially in the United States, but the volume is small and the impact limited, told AFP a source close to the group.
Panasonic does not stop all its transactions with Huawei, now those that are not affected by the US measure.
On Wednesday, Japanese operators KDDI and SoftBank Corp had said postpone the launch of new models. NTT pioneer Docomo has also said “stop orders” from a Huawei phone he planned to launch this summer.
The Chinese telecom giant – the world’s largest network provider and the world’s second-largest smartphone maker (206 million devices sold in 2018) – also suffered a setback in the UK on Wednesday: EE and Vodafone operators have ruled out Huawei smartphones 5G compatible with their pre-orders ahead of the launch of their respective networks in the coming weeks.
Commercialisation will not resume “until we have the long-term assurance that our consumers who purchase these products will be supported throughout the life of the device,” said EE General Manager , Marc Allera.
A spokesman for Vodafone said it was “a temporary measure as long as there are uncertainties surrounding Huawei’s new 5G models.”
More Android system at Huawei
These announcements represent new blows for Huawei after the announcement on Sunday of Google: the American behemoth has announced that its Android system, which equips the vast majority of phones in the world, would no longer equip the future smartphones of the Chinese group .
On the network side, EE confirmed that it would be phasing out Huawei equipment. The Chinese group nevertheless pointed out to AFP that this abandonment by EE concerns only the most sensitive part of 4G infrastructures.
Could be added to the list the British ARM. The group, which designs semiconductors used by the entire telecom industry, may also stop working with the Chinese giant, according to the BBC, which is based on documents internal to the company.
Huawei acknowledged Wednesday “the pressure” on its suppliers, but said “confident in the resolution of this regrettable situation.”
“It is difficult to accurately assess at this stage the extent of the impact of the US ban on Huawei’s business,” said Hiroyuki Kubota, an independent financial analyst specialising in China-US trade tensions. .
“But what is clear is that its sales will be negatively affected.”
However, “if Huawei accelerates the development of its own operating system, given the significant size of the Chinese market,” he could get by, he says, unlike Japanese manufacturers of smartphones that have been swept by the wave Apple.
This upsurge in market tensions affected the markets on Thursday: on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Nikkei index index ended down 0.62%, while Chinese markets were down sharply.