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Huawei’s US Research Arm Builds Separate Identity

Huawei’s US research arm, Futurewei Technologies, has been distancing its operations from that of its Chinese corporate parent since the Trump administration put Huawei on a trade blacklist in May, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Futurewei has banned Huawei employees from its offices, moved Futurewei employees to a new IT system and barred them from using the Huawei name or logo in communications, a source from within Futurewei was quoted as saying.

Huawei will, however, continue to own Futurewei, the source said.

The division of operations comes as many American universities have halted research partnerships with Huawei in reaction to US government allegations that the Chinese firm poses a national security threat. Many universities are also rethinking their partnerships with other Chinese firms.

The US Commerce Department has placed Huawei, China’s top telecoms equipment manufacturer, on an “entity list” of organizations that pose security risks. The Justice Department earlier filed charges against the firm alleging theft of trade secrets and other crimes.

Futurewei is Huawei’s US-based research and development arm. The firm employs hundreds of people at offices in Silicon Valley and the greater Seattle, Chicago and Dallas areas, according to the Reuters report.

Futurewei is said to have filed more than 2,100 patents in such areas as telecommunications, 5G cellular networks, and video and camera technologies.

Until now, Futurewei’s operations have been largely indistinguishable from Huawei. Futurewei had no separate brand or even a website, and its staff often identified themselves as Huawei employees.

But that is changing now in the wake of the US blacklist of the Chinese corporate parent, according to the report.―EJ Insight

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