Yesterday, CNBC reported about the Huawei layoffs in the US R&D subsidiary, Futurewei Technologies. More than 600 people were laid off, which accounts for more than 70% of the total. The plans came into effect on 22 May. Thus, these layoffs come about two months after the U.S. government put Huawei on a trade blacklist. This made the company illegal for its U.S. subsidiary to transfer sensitive technologies to its parent. Moreover, this action restricts Huawei from purchasing products from U.S. technology companies.
Futurewei was established to work closely with American universities and researchers. One employee said the layoff target was to remove 70% of the 850 Futurewei workers. Another employee said that Huawei China headquarters has issued a list of layoffs aimed at canceling any open source projects, projects related to Huawei’s recent products, and research and development of any key technologies.
What Huawei / Futurewei Says?
Huawei said that the reason for layoffs is ‘the actions of the US government have led to a reduction in business.’
Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, also confirmed the layoffs for the first time when he was interviewed by Yahoo Finance. Ren Zhengfei revealed that Huawei originally planned to invest $600 million in this US-based research and development subsidiary this year. However, due to the ‘list of entities’, Futurewei cannot send any research and development results to Huawei, and Futurewei employees cannot make any contact with Huawei employees.
Futurewei has multiple offices in Silicon Valley and the greater Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas areas. During its activity, this company has managed to file more than 2,100 patents in such areas as telecommunications, 5G cellular networks, and video and camera technologies.
‘On the 17th of May, Huawei asked everyone at Futurewei to upload everything to the Huawei cloud, right before the ban took effect,’ that employee said. ‘After that basically Futurewei has stopped doing any work – almost stopped everything.’