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Huawei crackdown

Huawei says Japan 'extremely important' after 50% rise in procurement

New US tech ban puts Chinese company's Asian ties under strain

Opening up a Huawei phone: The Chinese company bought $10 billion worth of Japanese supplies last year.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- Huawei Technologies revealed Wednesday that procurement from Japanese suppliers grew by more than 50% last year while the U.S. tightened trade restrictions on the Chinese telecom equipment maker.

During an online information session, Jeff Wang, chairman of the Tokyo-based subsidiary Huawei Japan, credited the gain to Japan's "extremely important role in global supply chains." 

Huawei's relationships with suppliers face a new test after the U.S. this month moved to further block its access to chips and other equipment based on U.S. technology, part of a series of sanctions against the Chinese company that began last year.

Wang did not mention the U.S. restrictions during Wednesday's online forum. But another executive appeared to play down the risk to Huawei's supply of 5G-related components.

"We have procured from Japan since 2018, so I believe there will be no major impact," said the executive.

Huawei "has built up long-term and stable relationships with Japanese suppliers," Wang said.

The company bought roughly 1.1 trillion yen ($10.3 billion) worth of components and other goods from Japanese companies last year, up from 721 billion yen in 2018.

Huawei first set up its Japanese arm in 2005, and the unit employed about 950 people as of June. The company also procures heavily from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

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