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Another tech giant abandons Huawei after Google boycott

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter

Another tech giant has followed Google in turning its back on Huawei, as the Chinese company struggles with heavy US pressure on firms to cut ties.

Britain’s biggest technology firm Arm Holdings appears to be cutting ties because of US president Donald Trump’s curbs on American firms doing business with the Chinese telecoms company.

Chipmaker Arm may be based near Cambridge in the UK and owned by Japanese firm Softbank, but its designs reportedly contain US technology so risked falling foul of the rules.

The timing could barely be worse as Huawei prepares to unveil plans for a major new UK tech hub just a few miles from Arm’s offices near Cambridge, where it had hoped to collaborate more with the chip firm.

A Huawei shop in Beijing. Photo: AP Foto/Ng Han Guan

READ MORE: Huawei plans huge UK tech hub just as security fears grow

Documents seen by Yahoo Finance UK show Huawei is set to publish detailed construction plans and seek planning consent this month for the new research and development facility in the ‘Silicon Fen’ tech cluster around Cambridge. The loss of potential partnerships with Huawei could come as a significant blow.

An Arm spokesman said it was complying with the “latest regulations” by the US government, but gave no further comment.

Huawei uses Arm’s blueprints to design the processors that power its smartphones. But the US decision to block Huawei from buying US goods has jeopardised its relationship with global firms involved in making its products, and not just US-based ones.

It comes shortly after Softbank announced this morning its planned launch this Friday of the Huawei P30 Lite smartphone had been delayed as it reviewed the US restrictions.

READ MORE: The real fallout from Google’s Huawei boycott

The USA added Huawei to a list of firms US companies could not trade with.

The BBC has reported that ARM, owned by Japan's Softbank, had instructed employees to halt "all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements" with Huawei.

A memo seen by the BBC is said to have told staff they were no longer allowed to "provide support, delivery technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters" with Huawei.

Britain's biggest mobile operator EE also said on Tuesday it had dropped a Huawei smartphone from the launch range of its 5G network next week.