In the wake of the recent blacklisting of the Chinese tech company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd by the United States, employees of some of the biggest tech companies of the world have been asked by their respective companies not to discuss anything about technology and technical standards employees from Huawei, claimed a report published by Reuters quoting information from sources with knowledge of the issue.
According to the report, employees of tech companies such as chip manufacturers Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc, mobile research firm InterDigital Wireless Inc and South Korean carrier LG Uplus have been instructed not to even engage in informal conversations with employees of Huawei – which is the largest manufacturer of telecom equipments in the world
Such informal talks and engagement are very common between employees of tech companies during international meetings which are often called to fix technical standards for communications technologies which also include those for the next generation mobile network 5G.
The blacklisting of Huawei by the US Commerce Department was only related to US companies not engaging with Huawei but did not put any ban on contact between companies and Huawei. The US Commerce Department put Huawei in its so called ‘entity list’ which essentially mean that no US company would be able to deal with Huawei in terms of products or technologies without first getting approval from the US government on May 16. However a few days later, the US administration allowed American companies to engage with Huawei in standards bodies till August “as necessary for the development of 5G standards.” This stand was reiterated by the US Commerce Department in a response to a query from Reuters on the issue.
Despite this stance of the US administration, a number of major American and overseas tech companies are directing their employees not to engage directly with employees from Huawei so that to avoid any form of issues developing with the US government.
The Reuters report further stated that employees of Intel and Qualcomm have been provided with compliance instructions, the two companies said without detailing any further. On the other hand, engineers of InterDigital have been given guidance to avoid violation of directions against about Huawei by the US regulators, said a spokesman for the company.
The company is “voluntarily refraining from interacting with Huawei workers, other than meeting for network equipment installation or maintenance issues,” said an official with LG Uplus. In a statement issued to Reuters the company further stated that it does not have any formal policy about restricting its employees from engaging with employees from Huawei.
No comment from Huawei was available.
According to several industry experts, the roll out of 5G could be slowed down because of these restrictions. The new generation 5G technology is expected to speed up mobile internet services significantly compared to the current standards in areas such as high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)