Huawei has had a tough past couple of months, starting from when it was added to the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) entity list in May. This effectively banned the company from making any sort of purchase from U.S. tech suppliers. However, things looked to be getting much better for the firm after U.S. President Donald Trump announced at the G20 summit that the ban would, in essence, be reversed. The DOC later clarified that this meant U.S. companies would be able to engage in sales with Huawei after obtaining licenses for every purchase, as long as the products in question didn't pose a national security risk.
In the latest stage of the ongoing saga, it is being reported that Huawei will be laying off hundreds of U.S. workers soon, as per The Wall Street Journal. The move is said to affect employees at Huawei's U.S.-based research and development subsidiary, Futurewei Technologies.
According to sources familiar with the matter, hundreds of people will be laid off soon, some of whom have already been notified of their imminent firing. Futurewei's research labs currently employ around 850 workers across the United States. It is also being reported that some of Huawei's Chinese employees have been offered by the firm to relocate back to their home country, continuing to work with the company.
Apparently, Huawei's presence in the entity list complicates Futurewei's workings with its offices in China, since its R&D efforts coming under the scope of U.S.-sourced technology could severely limit its operations with its home country. The Chinese giant has previously raised its concerns regarding the issuance of only temporary licenses for purchase, as opposed to its removal from the entity list altogether.
Interestingly, it was also revealed today that the DOC could start issuing U.S. companies licenses for new sales with Huawei within as early as two weeks. However, it looks like the planned layoffs could spell more trouble for the Chinese firm in the coming days, and perhaps strain relations with the U.S. even further.