US ban on Huawei hampers ties with American citizens and organizations

US citizens working for Huawei have been sent back to their home country.

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With the United States blacklisting Huawei, US citizens and organizations working with the Chinese telecoms have been left in limbo.

US employees working at Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters were repatriated back to the United States two weeks ago, and local employees have been told not to discuss any topics related to technology with US visitors to Huawei’s campus, according to the Financial Times.

Dang Wenshuan, a Huawei executive quoted in the story, said his company had to make these adjustments because the company was placed on the US government’s “Entity list” two weeks ago, effectively banning it from utilizing US products and services without government approvals. “We don’t know the boundary of the law, we have to be whiter than white,” he said.

Earlier this week, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional organization, banned Huawei-related scientists from its peer review and editorial processes. The organization cited “severe legal implications” as the reason to exclude the Chinese telecoms giant.

IEEE’s ban caused a backlash from the Chinese science community. Multiple professors from the country’s elite universities said they would cut ties with IEEE because it had failed to stay away from politics. Beijing-based China Computer Federation (CCF) announced on Thursday that it would suspend communications and cooperation with IEEE immediately.

Huawei sees the pressure from the US government on its suppliers, business partners, and itself as a “state-sanctioned campaign” to put the company out of business.

“As you know, politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company,” Huawei’s chief legal officer Song Liuping said at a press conference on Wednesday. “This is not normal. Almost never seen in history,” he added.