ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Huawei crackdown

Huawei cancels launch of new laptop as US sanctions bite

Latest MateBook put on hold until blacklist is lifted

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, presents the new MateBook X Pro laptop before the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2018.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- Huawei Technologies is cancelling the launch of its newest laptop, with the beleaguered Chinese tech behemoth citing the U.S. blacklist against procuring components and software.

The company was expected to announce this week the release date of the latest product in its MateBook series of laptops, anticipated to go on sale this summer. But Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, told U.S. news outlet CNBC that the company is scrapping the launch of the personal computer.

"We cannot supply the PC," Yu said Wednesday, describing the turn of events as "unfortunate."

Huawei's computers are built with U.S. parts and software, such as Intel chips and Microsoft's Windows operating system. But last month, the U.S. Commerce Department placed Huawei and several affiliates on the Entity List, which bars businesses deemed to be security risks from procuring U.S.-sourced components without prior notice.

When asked if Huawei will sell the new MateBook at a later date, Yu said it "depends on how long the Entity List will be there."

Huawei, the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world by deliveries, entered the PC market in 2016 by launching its first notebook. But established rivals like HP and Dell in the U.S., and Lenovo Group at home, control about 90% of the PC market, leaving Huawei with just a thin slice.

Since Huawei's PC business is only a minor part of its operational profile, the MateBook cancellation's impact on earnings will be negligible. But as the first Huawei product launch terminated due to the U.S. restrictions, this latest development underscores the escalating effect the sanctions are having on the embattled company.

The U.S. ban is putting pressure on Huawei's bread-and-butter smartphone business as well. The company aims to sell 250 million units this year, up 25% from 2018, but a senior executive suggested Tuesday that there is a chance the group will downgrade that outlook.

"If there were no surprises, we would have become the largest [smartphone maker] in the fourth quarter," said Shao Yang, chief strategy officer at Huawei's consumer business group. "But now we feel this process may take a longer time."

Huawei did not immediately respond to a request from the Nikkei Asian Review for comment.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media