Huawei on Monday assailed the latest US move to cut it off from semiconductor suppliers as a “pernicious" attack that will put the Chinese technology giant in “survival" mode and sow chaos in the global technology sector.
The Commerce Department said on Friday it was tightening sanctions on Huawei – seen by Washington as a security risk – to include denying it access to semiconductor designs developed using US software and technology.
“The decision was arbitrary and pernicious and threatens to undermine the entire (technology) industry worldwide," Huawei said in a statement.
Huawei has largely weathered an escalating 18-month campaign by the Trump administration to isolate it internationally.
But it “will inevitably be affected" by the new American salvo, rotating chairman Guo Ping said at an annual summit of technology analysts that Huawei organises at its headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
“Survival is the key for us now," Guo said, issuing an appeal to Huawei's suppliers and customers worldwide to stand with it. He declined to give a detailed forecast of the impact when asked by journalists.
But the Huawei statement said the US decision “will have a serious impact on a wide number of global industries" by creating uncertainty in the chip sector and technology supply chains.
US officials said Huawei had been circumventing sanctions by obtaining chips and components that are produced around the world based on American technology. Washington last year said it would blacklist Huawei from the US market and from buying crucial American components, though it has extended a series of reprieves to allow US businesses that work with Huawei time to adjust.
On Friday it extended this reprieve by another 90 days but said these exceptions are not likely to be extended further. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had said that even as Huawei seeks to develop its own components in response to US sanctions, “that effort is still dependent on US technologies."
US officials accuse Huawei, the world's biggest supplier of telecom network equipment and number two smartphone manufacturer, of stealing American trade secrets and say it could allow Beijing to spy on global telecoms traffic.