Huawei Enters a New World

As of today the Chinese champion will be cut off from its suppliers.

After midnight on Sept. 14, all its non-American suppliers across the world will have to stop shipping to Huawei if their products contain U.S. technology. Those suppliers will need a license from the U.S. Commerce Department if they want to maintain business with the Chinese tech champion, according to the department’s export controls imposed on Aug. 17.

In danger are components vital to Huawei’s operations: from key semiconductors to displays to camera lenses, and even printed circuit boards. Huawei has been stockpiling all kinds of chip inventories since the end of 2018, but it is unknown whether they are well stocked with electronics components such as advanced displays and camera lenses. “Electronic devices are very complicated,” said Wu Chia-chau, chairman of Nanya Technology. “Without any one of the components, you could not assemble complete devices — smartphones, laptops, or base stations.”

Su Tze-yun, director of Taiwan’s Institute for National Defense and Security Research and a supply chain expert, said Huawei might find some low-end alternative components. “But that could make Huawei’s products much less competitive and even back to where they were 10 years ago,” he said.

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