Intel, Qualcomm, LG Uplus tell employees not to talk to Huawei - Reuters

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Though the U.S. government has not explicitly banned U.S. firms from interacting with Huawei, some companies are taking precautionary measures. (Monica Alleven/FierceWireless)

Reuters has reported that tech companies Intel, Qualcomm, LG Uplus and research firm InterDigital Wireless have barred employees from having “informal conversations” with Huawei employees, citing unnamed sources.


The development is the latest in a string of decisions by U.S. companies to cut some ties with Huawei after the U.S. Commerce Department placed the company on its entity list. The Commerce Department has barred U.S. companies from selling products to Huawei without prior government authorization.


Google, which supplies its Android mobile OS to Huawei smartphones, has criticized the blacklisting as a security risk and is seeking exemptions from the ban.


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The U.S. government has not explicitly banned Huawei from the U.S., though, and U.S. tech firms could still maintain lines of communication with the company, if they wanted.


Spokespersons for Intel, Qualcomm and InterDigital told Reuters they have supplied employees with compliance guidelines, in hopes of staying in line with the U.S. Commerce Department’s new policy on Huawei. A spokesperson for LG Uplus said the company is “voluntarily refraining” from interactions with Huawei employees.


Separately, the 3GPP has decided it will seek to document so-called “offline” conversations at the upcoming 2020 conference on 5G as a precaution. The IEEE also sought to restrict Huawei participation in peer-reviewing studies published in its publication, though it later removed those restrictions, according to Reuters.


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Industry members have raised concerns that such developments could hamper 5G network deployments going forward. Reuters reports that participants at a recent 5G standards meeting described the U.S.’s actions as part of a “tech war” between the U.S. and China, and said the developments were jeopardizing global cooperation on 5G.