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Huawei Replaces 13,000 US-Banned Parts as it Fights Back

Washington cut off Huawei’s US supply of chips and access to tech to design its own chips and has also banned the sale of new Huawei equipment in the US

The Huawei logo is seen at its France head office near Paris
The Huawei logo is seen at its France head office near Paris. Photo: Reuters


Huawei has replaced more than 13,000 US-banned parts in its products, its founder has claimed, as the Chinese tech giant plots a recovery path after being targeted by Washington with a succession of sanctions and restrictions. 

According to a transcript of a speech posted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Ren Zhengfei said Huawei had over the past three years replaced thousands of components with domestic Chinese substitutes and had redesigned 4,000 circuit boards for its products.

The remarks show how Huawei is bouncing back from the US trade restrictions. Since 2019, Huawei, a major supplier of equipment used in 5G telecommunications networks, has been the focus of successive rounds of US export controls.


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Those controls cut off both Huawei’s supply of chips from US companies and its access to US technology tools to design its own chips and have them manufactured by partners. The Biden administration last year also banned the sale of new Huawei equipment in the US.

Ren made the remarks in a talk to Chinese technology experts last month, the university said. The university posted the transcript on its website on Friday.

Ren said Huawei invested $23.8 billion in research and development in 2022, and “as our profitability improves, we’ll continue to increase R&D spending.”

The founder said the company had built its own enterprise resource planning system, called MetaERP. To launch in April, it will help run its core business functions, including finance, supply chain and manufacturing operations.

Ren said Huawei has no plans to launch a rival to the wildly popular large language model AI ChatGPT, but said Microsoft Corp, the backer of the application’s developer OpenAI, would not be the only dominant player. He said Huawei is focusing on being the “underlying computing power platform” of AI.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


  • This story was amended and updated on March 20.


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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