Huawei lays off two-thirds of its US R&D workforce

Huawei lays off hundreds of US employees


Huawei, which has around 1500 US workers, will be letting go of ‘several hundred’ staff from its R&D lab, run by subsidiary Futurewei Technologies.

600 jobs at Futurewei, the company’s research and development arm are to go, as the company blames “the curtailment of business operations caused by the US”.

The tech giant has been placed on the US “entity list”, preventing them from trading with US companies, without a licence, along with 68 subsidiary companies, including Futurewei.

Although the White House has promised that such licences will be issued in the coming weeks, it’s all come too late for the California-based operation, with a relative skeleton staff of 250 left in employment.

Jobs being cut will come from Silicon Valley, as well as other US bases in Dallas, Washington State and Chicago.

Huawei has consistently denied any wrongdoing, despite repeated claims that it is too close to the Chinese government to be a safe vendor in the US.

Reuters reports that Futurewei has been more or less crippled since the ban anyway. They quote an unnamed employee who had escaped the chop as saying:

“On the 17th of May, Huawei asked everyone at Futurewei to upload everything to the Huawei cloud, right before the ban took effect.

“After that basically Futurewei has stopped doing any work – almost stopped everything.”

Huawei had around 1,500 employees in the US across its various operations, of which around 60 per cent were employed at Futurewei, a business with a $510m turnover aside from Huawei’s main accounts.

However, that figure has been dropping sharply during 2019, when even before the ban, US carriers started to get cold feet about selling Huawei handsets, preempting the Executive Order which kicked them to the kerb.

Layoffs began late last week where workers were seen leaving with belongings within minutes of being told that their job no longer existed.

Here in the UK, a decision over Huawei’s future in the 5G infrastructure space is still to be decided upon, despite the fact that both EE and Vodafone have launched their networks using Huawei kit.

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