Huawei has replaced thousands of parts banned in the United States in its products, the founder says

Written by Stephen Nellis and Krystal Hu

(Reuters) – Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has replaced more than 13,000 parts in its products targeted by U.S. trade sanctions, the Chinese tech giant’s founder said, according to the transcript of a speech released by a Chinese university on Friday.

According to a transcript of a February speech released by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Ren Zhengfei said that in the past three years, Huawei had replaced 13,000 components with domestic Chinese substitutes and redesigned 4,000 circuit boards for its products.

He said circuit board production had “stabilized.”

The remarks, which Reuters could not independently confirm, provided a window into Huawei’s efforts to recover from U.S. trade restrictions. Since 2019, Huawei, a major supplier of equipment used in 5G telecommunications networks, has been subject to successive US export inspections.

These regulations cut off both Huawei’s supply of chips from US companies and its access to US technology tools to design and manufacture its own chips from partners. Last year, the Biden administration also banned the sale of new Huawei devices in the United States

Ren made his remarks in a discussion with Chinese technology experts on February 24, the university said. The university published the protocol on its website on Friday. A US Huawei representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Ren said Huawei will invest US$23.8 billion in research and development in 2022, and “as our profitability improves, we will continue to increase our investment in research and development.”

The founder said that the company had built its own ERP system, called MetaERP. Launching in April, it will help run its core business, including finance, supply chain and manufacturing.

Ren said Huawei did not plan to launch a competitor to the wildly popular big language model AI ChatGPT, but said Microsoft Corp, a backer of app developer OpenAI, would not be the only dominant player. He said Huawei is focused on being the “core computing power platform” for artificial intelligence.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and William Mallard)

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