Although the relationship between Huawei and the US is easing, Huawei still can’t enter the US market. Huawei’s R&D department in the US is called Futurewei. It had about 850 employees in Texas, California, and Washington but not anymore. According to news reports from CNBC, over 600 staff of Futurewei have been relieved of their duties. This is over 70% of the company’s staff. However, if the employee is Chinese, they have the option to return to China and continue working for Huawei.
Futurewei’s work description is in part to work closely with American universities and researchers. According to an employee, Huawei China headquarters has issued a list of layoffs aimed at canceling any open source projects, projects related to Huawei’s recent products, and research and development of any key technologies. The Chinese company said that the reason for layoffs is “the actions of the US government have led to a reduction in business.”
Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, also confirmed the layoffs in an interview with YahooFinance. According to Ren Zhengfei, Huawei original plan was to invest $600 million in this US-based research and development subsidiary this year. However, due to the “list of entities”, Futurewei cannot send any research and development results to the Chinese manufacturer. In addition, Futurewei employees cannot make any contact with Huawei employees. Thus, such investment is not possible.