Panasonic ‘suspends transactions’ with Huawei after US ban
Japan’s Panasonic thought it was halting occupation with Huawei to comply with US boundaries.
Panasonic said the ban applies to goods having 25% or more of US-originated materials, according to reports.
However, there was some confusion about Panasonic’s position when, later in the day, its Chinese website said the firm would continue to supply Huawei.
Last week the US put Huawei on a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a license.
The restrictions mark an escalation in US efforts to block Huawei, which it says poses a security risk.
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“Panasonic declared in an internal statement that it should suspend transactions with Huawei and its 68 partners that were disqualified by the US government,” the firm said in an announcement provided to the BBC.
Later on Thursday, Panasonic appeared to contradict that position with a statement posted on its China website that said the Japanese company was continuing to supply Huawei.
Panasonic did not immediately respond to BBC requests for clarity.
It was also not clear what transactions Panasonic was suspending, or why they were subject to US restrictions.
Last week the Trump management added Huawei – the world’s second-biggest smartphone manufacturer – to its “entity list” which bans the company from obtaining technology from US firms without government approval.
Japan’s Softbank and KDDI have both assumed they will not sell Huawei’s fresh handsets for now.
UK-based chip designer ARM said staff it must suspend business with Huawei, according to internal documents obtained by the BBC.
The US moves come as tensions with China have escalated in current weeks.
Previous this month, the US reignited its trade war with China by hiking tariffs, just as both sides seemed to be nearing a deal.
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Huawei has been at the epicenter of the US-China power struggle for months.
Led by the US, the firm faces a rising backlash from Western countries over likely dangers posed by using its products in next-generation 5G mobile networks.
The US debates the Chinese government could use Huawei products for surveillance.
Huawei denies such rights and says it is self-governing from the Chinese government.