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Huawei crackdown

Huawei will source parts outside US, solar unit head says

Advanced stockpiling to ease blacklist impact for world-leading inverter business

A solar plant in the U.S. state of Colorado: U.S. senators have called for a ban on imports of Huawei Technologies power inverters, citing the risk of cyberattacks.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- Huawei Technologies' world-leading solar power inverter business will find alternative suppliers for components that it now buys in the U.S. after Washington placed the manufacturer on a trade blacklist, a senior company official told Nikkei.

"We use American parts for some older-model products," said Tony Xu, head of Huawei's smart solar operations.

Xu said that he expects Washington's move -- which essentially bars U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese equipment maker -- to have little effect on the inverter business, as Huawei stocked up on parts in advance. But "we'll source parts from companies outside the U.S." as necessary, he said.

Huawei holds a 22% share of the global market for solar power inverters, which convert the direct-current electricity produced by panels into alternating current usable by households.

U.S. senators in February proposed a ban on importing inverters from Huawei, warning that they are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Xu called these accusations "baseless" and asserted that Huawei is focused on security.

"We've had more questions from customers in Japan, Europe and China, but the impact on our sales should be small," he said.

Huawei generated about half its solar-related revenue in China in 2018, with such markets as Europe, Japan and India making up the rest. The company looks to expand sales in Europe and Southeast Asia this year.

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