Huawei director says business not impacted by geopolitical events

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Chinese telecom equipment supplier Huawei may be under fire from U.S. trade restrictions, but so far, Konesh Kochhal, a director of industry ecosystem engagements for the South Pacific at Huawei Technologies, said the carrier’s business wasn’t facing a pinch.

“This is not new. We were expecting this for a long, long time,” Kochhal said at the ConnecTech Asia conference in Singapore Thursday. He was speaking during a panel discussion of 5G adoption.

“The current supply chain is not impacted at all. We have built in contingencies for the next few years if this continues,” he said in response to a question on whether the U.S. restrictions on Huawei would slow the rollout of 5G services globally.

But he added that on the consumer side of the business, Huawei was still figuring out what the impact would be.

“Other than that, we are in an observation period right now given that 90-day period where the licensing regime comes into play,” Kochhal said.

In May the U.S. Commerce Department granted Huawei a 90-day reprieve, ending mid-August, to allow it to maintain its existing telecom networks and keep updating software on the smartphones it makes.

Huawei has been placed on a trade blacklist in the U.S. over allegations it violated sanctions against Iran. The Trump administration has also declared using the Chinese company’s equipment a national security concern.

Analysts have said the U.S. moves to target Huawei may be more related to the Trump administration’s efforts, largely unsuccessful, to strong-arm China into a trade deal.

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