Huawei plans extensive layoffs at its US operations: report

Huawei’s United States-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies employs about 850 people in research labs across the country. (AFP)
Updated 14 July 2019

Huawei plans extensive layoffs at its US operations: report

  • The layoffs are expected to affect jobs at Huawei’s US-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies
  • Some employees have already been notified of their dismissal

BENGALURU: Huawei Technologies is planning extensive layoffs in the United States as the Chinese telecoms equipment company grapples with its US blacklisting, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The layoffs are expected to affect jobs at Huawei’s US-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies, which employs about 850 people in research labs across the United States, the Journal said.
The layoffs could be in the hundreds, one person told the Journal. Huawei’s Chinese employees in the United States were being given an option to return home and stay with the company, another person added.
Some employees have already been notified of their dismissal, while more planned job cuts could be announced soon, the newspaper said.
Huawei declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
After the Commerce Department decided to put Huawei on its so-called entity list, Futurewei employees have faced restrictions to communicate with their colleagues in Huawei’s home offices located in China, the people told the Journal.
Last week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the US government would issue licenses to companies seeking to sell goods to Huawei where there was no threat to national security.


France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.