Panasonic says it’s still doing business with Huawei, claims earlier media reports untrue
It says on its China website it is still supplying to Huawei.
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Japanese electronics group Panasonic insists it has not suspended business with Chinese tech giant Huawei, despite earlier media reports that claimed otherwise.
Business as usual
Panasonic released a statement on its China website on Thursday, May 23 that dispelled claims made by the “online media”, saying they were “untrue”.
It also clarified that the corporation is still supplying for Huawei:
“Huawei has always been an important partner for Panasonic.
We will continue to sell commodities and provide services to both Huawei and our Chinese clients, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country and region that Panasonic is located in.
We will contribute, in whatever way we can, to help our business grow in China.”
Not what it said before
Panasonic’s latest statement contradicts a statement it made earlier though.
In a statement to BBC on Thursday, May 23, Panasonic said it announced in an internal notification that it “should suspend transactions with Huawei and its 68 affiliates that were banned by the United States government”.
The statement came after mobile carriers in Japan and the United Kingdom announced they would be delaying the launch of Huawei smartphones.
Huawei’s Mate 20X, its first phone for 5G networks, was expected to go on sale in the UK after Huawei introduced the smartphone at a launch event.
5G technology is said to be at least 20 times faster than 4G.
Escalation of the trade spat between China & the U.S.
Huawei is caught in the cross-hairs of the ongoing trade dispute between China and the U.S.
At the request of the U.S., Canada in December 2019 arrested Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, for allegedly evading sanctions on Iran.
Meng is currently under house arrest in Canada.
Most recently, the U.S. blacklisted Huawei, along with 70 affiliates, citing “national security” risks.
The move came after the U.S. hiked its tariffs on US$200 billion (S$276 billion) worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, prompting China to retaliate by increasing tariffs on US$60 billion (S$83 billion) of U.S. goods.
Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei has insisted that the company does not provide data to the Chinese government, nor has the latter asked Huawei to do so.
However, the U.S. has remained doubtful of Huawei’s claims.
Experts also said that according to Chinese laws, Chinese companies are legally mandated to assist the government in intelligence gathering if they were asked to do so.
Ren was a former engineer who worked for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and is a current member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Top image via Panasonic Corporation’s Facebook