Huawei layoffs may affect NJ, Philly

Tom Paine

Huawei will lay off hundreds of US workers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The reductions are expected to be concentrated in Huawei’s R&D outfit, Futurewei Technologies.

The layoffs follow a May 16 Commerce Department decision to put Huawei on its so-called entity list, which blocked companies from supplying U.S.-sourced technology to Huawei without a license. However, it appears possible removal of restrictions is still a bargaining chip in the US / China trade negotiations.

Esther Surden, Editor & Publisher of NJTechWeekly (and contributor to this site), covered the opening of Huawei’s R&D center in Bridgewater, NJ, back in 2012. Huawei pledged to bring 55 (later said to be 90) new jobs to the center, for which it received some state financial support. But that achievement was soon overshadowed by a House Intelligence Committee report written after a yearlong investigation of it and another Chinese firm, ZTE. The report essentially concluded that U.S. companies should think twice about doing business with the Chinese firms.

As a result, Huawei cut back its US efforts, except to maintain some small wireless systems it already had and to continue US-based R&D.

In Philadelphia, Huawei has a small office with around 2o employees, and I believe its primary purpose is to work with Comcast.

Though layoffs have already started, there is no word yet on cuts in these two locations.

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