Huawei seeks partners to escape US sanctions

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Huawei is considering licensing the design of its smartphones to third-party companies. This option would allow it to bypass the American embargo and in particular to gain access to components.

US sanctions continue to weigh on Huawei, but the Chinese company may have found a solution. She is reportedly currently looking for partners to bypass them and save what remains of her smartphone division. After having deluded in 2020, Huawei has somewhat disappeared from the radar this year and the coming to power of Joe Biden has not helped the group to find color. Removed from the 5G market in several European countries and deprived of Google’s services, the Chinese giant has lost its luster. In line with expectations, the results for the first half of 2021 confirmed the downturn in the “general public” division (Consumer), which includes sales of smartphones in particular.

In order to cross this ” hard time “, Huawei looked for growth drivers in the cloud, business services, or other products such as computers or portable speakers. Huawei rotating chairman Eric Xu has repeatedly explained that for the past two years the company’s priority has been to ” to survive “, without however completely putting aside its ambitions on the smartphone market. The Chinese giant also unveiled its P50 range during the summer and made its return to France with the Nova 9.

Chinese partners to circumvent sanctions

These successive announcements testify to Huawei’s desire to return to the forefront. According to Bloomberg, this trend is confirmed since the manufacturer would seek solutions to circumvent US sanctions. Its new project would consist of granting licenses to third-party Chinese companies for the design of its smartphones. The latter, which are not on the blacklist of the United States, could access essential components and thus help Huawei to relaunch. In addition to the absence of Google services, the manufacturer is indeed deprived of certain key components such as chips from Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC or 5G modems from Qualcomm. Its latest smartphones, which work with the EMUI 12 interface on Android and with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), do not have 5G.

The Huawei P50 Pro is not yet available in France. © Huawei

The Shenzhen-based company is reportedly considering licensing the design of its smartphones to China Postal and Telecommunications Applicances Co. (PTAC). The latter is owned by the Chinese state and one of its subsidiaries is none other than Xnova, which already markets smartphones from the Nova range. The partnership would also give it the ability to sell devices developed by Huawei under its own brand.

Huawei is not yet ready to return to the top

A Chinese equipment maker, TD Tech Ltd., was also reportedly approached with the same promise and negotiations are reportedly still ongoing. Huawei has also asked its engineers to adapt some of its flagship smartphones, so far available with Kirin chips from its subsidiary HiSilicon, to make them compatible with Qualcomm or MediaTek SoCs. A new approach that will not necessarily allow Huawei to return to the top, but Bloomberg believes it “This may be the best chance for Huawei’s smartphone business” after the US sanctions. The firm, which has already had to sell its Honor brand, expects its partnerships to allow it to sell more than 30 million smartphones in 2022. Huawei has, for the time being, declined to comment on this information.

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