National Security Trade

Layoffs Are Coming to Huawei’s American Employees

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I'm not qualified to say if the Chinese-owned telecommunications giant Huawei is as much of a threat to national security as the Trump regime claims it is, but we can say for certain that the company's warning that blacklisting them from buying American technology would mostly harm Americans has turned out to be true.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is planning extensive layoffs in the United States as the Chinese telecoms equipment company grapples with its U.S. blacklisting, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The layoffs are expected to affect jobs at Huawei’s U.S.-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies, which employs about 850 people in research labs across the United States, the Journal said.

The layoffs could be in the hundreds, one person told the Journal.

It's not as if losing nearly 900 jobs in a nation of over 300 million people is an especially big deal, however I suspect this is just the beginning. Layoffs will also likely hit vendors who supplied Huawei and we can lay this squarely at the feet of Donald Trump.

I do believe Chinese technology could pose a threat to national security, but I don't think that's why Huawei was blacklisted from buying American-made technology.

I believe Huawei was blacklisted because Trump wants to use it as leverage in his trade war with China. And I don't think that's going to end will for him or us.

Huawei's Chinese employees working inside the United States are reportedly being offered a chance to return home and continue working for the company.

  • muselet

    There are suspicions—how well-founded, I am not qualified to say—that Huawei’s equipment includes backdoor access for the Chinese government. That may or may not be a real threat, at least in the short term, given the exabytes of data a 5G network would carry daily; the old metaphor of drinking from a fire hose comes to mind. In the middle- to far-future, when AI can sift through tons of dross to pick out the one text or upload Beijing is interested in, it will be a bigger concern, since nobody would want to uproot existing infrastructure to get rid of the nosy bits.

    Government officials and titans of industry would be well advised to stay off 5G networks unless they use fairly impressive encryption. The rest of us aren’t particularly interesting, frankly (apart from online banking and the like, which is an argument for everyone to use encryption).

    As for the US blacklisting Huawei, that’s Donald Trump doing some unimpressive dick-swinging. A less … erm … insecure administration would find a diplomatic way of suggesting the Chinese be less blatant about backdoors.

    The Trump administration doesn’t do diplomatic.