Last month it was reported that Huawei separated the operations of its US research and development facility – Futurewei Technologies – as the company continued to react to the implications which presented as a consequence of the US blacklisting.
However, if the separation was indeed done to stave off more drastic action, then it hasn’t exactly gone to plan. A recent reprint from the Wall Street Journal claims that Huawei has now began the process to layoff staff in the U.S. R&D arm, as the company “continues to struggle with its American blacklisting.” The division goes on to employ more than 850 people in Texas, Silicon Valley and Washington State.
Futurewei saw its parent company of Huawei going to battle with the US blacklisting which came into effect three months ago, in May. Recent developments have also meant that there is indeed a softening of restrictions on the rather more generic side that Huawei poses – essentially, this includes consumers products, core links with American universities as well as research bodies which happen to remain contentious.
According to the Wall Street Journal : “The exact number of layoffs couldn’t be determined, but one of the [inside] people said they were expected to be in the hundreds. Some of Huawei’s Chinese employees in the US were being given the option of returning home and staying with the company, another person said.”
Huawei and Futurewei are not considered separate entities, as both of their operations are largely indistinguishable from one another.
Huawei has been known to take great pride in its patents and last year, the Chinese manufacturer filed more than any other organization all over the globe. In more recent times, the company has also taken steps to more aggressively monetize such patents, especially where the US counterparties are seemingly concerned. Futurewei also happens to be a larger part of that patent machine and in accordance to the US Patent and Trademark office, has filed more than 2000 of its own.