Huawei’s fate still hangs in the balance despite some on the US side talking about easing some but definitely not all restrictions. That might not be enough for Huawei to completely change its course and scrap the plans it made to compensate for the effects of the restrictions. One of those is the planned layoffs in its US-based R&D subsidiary that could affect no small amount of American jobs.
Some might see it as retaliation but, to be fair, Huawei doesn’t have much choice in the matter. The US blacklist forbids US companies from supplying US-sourced technology to Huawei. Since that is exactly what Huawei’s Futurewei Technologies research and development subsidiary does, that business is pretty done for.
According to sources, Futurewei employees have been restricted in communicating with their counterparts in China since the ban fell on Huawei. The subsidiary has 850 employees across the US and insiders say that the extensive layoffs could number in the hundreds. Chinese Futurewei employees have been given the option to return to China to stay with the company while there have already been US employees who were served their notices.
There is already some discussion about the US easing restrictions and granting licenses on a case per case basis. Those will mostly be on sales to China that won’t put US’ national security at risk. Given the sensitive nature of R&D, Futurewei’s activities will most likely be put under heavier security.
Huawei admits that there will be significant losses in revenue if the ban persists, given how it relies on a number of US vendors for hardware and technologies. At the same time, however, Huawei has roughly 1,500 employees in equipment sales alone and represents a major source of revenue for many of those companies.