Huawei has reportedly stopped its smartphone production after US blacklist amid trade war

A pedestrian talks on the phone while walking past a Huawei Technologies Co. store on January 29, 2019 in Beijing, China.

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A pedestrian talks on the phone while walking past a Huawei Technologies Co. store on January 29, 2019 in Beijing, China.
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Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

  • Huawei is reportedly stopping its smartphone production to “reassess” its target to become the world’s top smartphone vendor by the end of 2020.
  • The South China Morning Post reported that Zhao Ming, president of Honor, one of Huawei’s smartphone brands, said it was “too early” to comment on the goal.
  • The company previously revved up efforts to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor in response to President Donald Trump’s administration adding the company to a trade blacklist.
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Huawei has stopped smartphone production after previously announcing its target to become the world’s top smartphone vendor by next year, according to a report from the South China Morning Post.

The report specified that the halt was by Foxconn, “the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that assembles handsets products for many phone brands including Apple and Xiaomi,” amid reduced orders for new phones.

“As the new situation has emerged, it is too early to say whether we are able to achieve the goal,” Zhao Ming, president of Honor, a Huawei smartphone brand, told reporters. He was responding to questions about Huawei’s plan to beat Samsung Electronics in smartphone sales before the end of 2020.

The newspaper cited multiple “people familiar with the matter,” who were not named.

The company’s global smartphone sales swelled to 15.7% in the first quarter of 2019 from 10.5% in the same period last year, according to data from industry research firm Gartner.

Read more: Trump’s Huawei ban escalates the US-China trade war into a tech Cold War

The technology giant previously acknowledged that it is speeding up efforts to develop its own smartphone operating system and app store in response to President Donald Trump’s administration adding the company to a trade blacklist.

The blacklist restricted the company from buying services and parts from US companies without approval, affecting access to a wide variety of American-made hardware and software by companies including Qualcomm and Google.

The move came as a harsh development in heightening tensions between US and China’s trade relations.

On May 10, 2019, Trump signaled the end of formal negotiations, hiking tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports by 15%. They went from 10% to 25%.

China then raised tariffs on $60 billion of American goods, effective June 1, weeks before China’s vice foreign minister accused the US of engaging in “naked economic terrorism” and insisted China was “not afraid.”