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A man walks past a board showing Huawei University's motto in a training centre at Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen on Friday. Photo: Reuters

Huawei orders employees to cut meetings with US, sends American workers home, Financial Times reports

  • Huawei’s chief strategy architect tells FT American citizens working in research and development were repatriated two weeks ago

Tech giant Huawei has ordered its employees to cancel technical meetings with American contacts and has sent home numerous US employees working at its Chinese headquarters in Shenzen, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The moves come amid growing US-China tensions over trade and technology, in which Huawei, China’s leading telecommunications equipment maker, has been a primary target.

The newspaper quoted Huawei’s chief strategy architect, Dang Wenshuan, as saying that American citizens working in research and development were repatriated two weeks ago, after the Chinese group and 68 affiliates were placed on the US Commerce Department’s “Entity List”, which effectively bars American firms from selling components to Huawei without government approval.

The Financial Times said that a workshop underway at Huawei at the time was “hastily disbanded, and American delegates were asked to remove their laptops, isolate their networks and leave the Huawei premises”.

It quoted Dang as saying that Huawei is also limiting interactions between its employees and American citizens.

Huawei declined to comment on the report.

China’s commerce ministry announced Friday that it would establish its own list of foreign enterprises, organisations and individuals it deemed to be “unreliable entities” – a possible response to the US blacklist.

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Entities are “unreliable” if they “fail to comply with market rules, break from the spirit of contracts and block or stop supplying Chinese enterprise for non-commercial reasons, seriously damaging the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a news briefing.

Gao said the specific measures to be taken against the entities would be announced at a later date.

The purpose of the list is to oppose unilateralism and trade protectionism, as well as safeguard China’s national security, he said.