Panasonic Denies Cutting Off Ties With Huawei
By Staff, Agencies
The US recently intensified its pressure on China’s Huawei accusing it of installing backdoors in hardware to enable espionage and cyberattacks on behalf of Beijing, something that the tech giant denies. Washington has subsequently banned Huawei from buying American software and chips.
Japanese electronics company Panasonic has denied reports that it ceased transactions with Huawei and around 70 other Chinese firms, recently added to a list of firms banned from operating in the US. According to the company's Chinese website, Panasonic is continuing to supply Huawei as usual.
The now refuted suspension of ties between the two companies was earlier reported by FNN and AFP. The reports came in the wake of similar ones from other companies across the globe ceasing their operations with Huawei in the face of US pressure.
This includes Japan's Toshiba halting supplies to Huawei until the company ensures they don't contain parts, produced in the US and thus are subject to the recent ban. British chip designer ARM also froze its ties with Huawei as some of its designs are based on US technologies. Huawei smartphones allegedly rely quite heavily on ARM's chip designs.
At the same time, Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported that the US State Department has repeatedly pressured South Korean authorities to stop using LG Uplus Corp equipment "in sensitive areas", because the company utilizes some of Huawei's hardware. LG stated that it has not received any demands to stop using Huawei technologies, either from South Korea, or from the US. Neither of the states in question has confirmed the report so far.
South Korea was not the first country that the US pressured into abandoning Huawei. Washington threatened its European allies that it would "reassess" its intelligence-sharing policies, if they decide to allow the Chinese tech giant to participate in the construction of 5G telecom networks. The UK reportedly ignored the warning and will use Huawei equipment in the non-core systems of the future network.
The US claims that Huawei embeds its equipment with backdoors under Beijing's directives to allow the Chinese government to spy on users worldwide as well as conduct cyberattacks. Although the company vehemently denies the accusations, Washington labelled the Chinese tech company as a national security threat and recently banned it along with around 70 Chinese companies from obtaining US-made technologies.
The move led to Google ceasing support for the Android operating system for all future Huawei devices and blocking their access to its services. US chip producers, such as Intel and Qualcomm, have also reportedly cut their ties with Huawei.
The company announced the start of legal proceedings in light of the ban, and stated that it will not affect its deployment of 5G networks. According to a report by Bloomberg, the company has had a "Plan B" in case of such a ban for about a year, which will allow their devices to get updates and the needed software.