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Huawei going to predict the future? Nope, say company leaders when asked about Joe Biden winning US election

'We don't know what he stands for'

Huawei is uncertain whether a change in leadership in Washington DC will resolve its ongoing woes with the US government, company representatives have told The Register.

"We don't really know what Joe Biden stands for," said Sir Kenneth Olisa, Huawei board member. "It's a bit of a mystery… The politics in America are so complicated at the moment; it's very hard to see how it's going to pan out on the other side.

"At the moment, there's a bi-partisan dislike of China, but that's not the same thing as an antagonism to Huawei per se."

History has shown that most US presidents manage to win a second term. In the past 50 years, only two presidents have failed*: namely George H W Bush and Jimmy Carter. Current betting odds and polling numbers suggest Donald Trump is about to join that unfortunate club, with the incumbent struggling in states that proved vital to his ascendancy in 2016.

The latest national polling averages show Biden with an 8.9 per cent lead on Trump. In Michigan, which Trump snatched from Clinton in 2016, polling averages show the presumptive Democratic nominee 10.1 per cent ahead. Data from Pennsylvania, another state won by Trump in 2016, puts Biden 5.2 per cent ahead.

Of course, as 2016 showed the world, surprises happen. Nonetheless, a less hawkish administration could conceivably ease the pressure on Huawei.

Huawei is on an embargo list, meaning US firms wishing to trade with the Chinese tech giant must obtain an exemption.

Huawei store in China with fallen promotional inflatable character on the ground

US govt: Huawei is a national security risk and a menace, except, you know, when we need it for 5G standards work


Predictably, this has caused turmoil in its business. The most apparent impact is in Huawei's Consumer Business Group, which includes its once-thriving mobile business. Sales of Huawei's phones have suffered outside Mainland China as it is unable to license Google Mobile Services for its newest devices.

And while Huawei has been able to continue operating normally in Mainland China, there are potential signs of pressure, with the Nikkei Asian Review reporting that the company may delay the launch of its Mate 40 flagship due to chipset shortages.

Sir Kenneth Olisa says the company – which recently marked 20 years of activity in the UK – must convince legislators that Huawei is separate to the Beijing government, noting that few regard BAE Systems as an appendage of Westminster.

Meanwhile, Huawei veep Victor Zhang is adamant the business must continue to compete on product development.

"As a business, we cannot rely on uncertainties, because the political side is so dynamic. We need to build up our certainties. We need to enhance our supply chain, and enhance our technological innovation." ®


* Gerald Ford, who ascended to the top position after the resignation of Richard Nixon, failed to win the 1976 presidential election, although that was his first attempt at running so he doesn't count.

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