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Staff at UK-based ARM ‘told to suspend business with Huawei’

The company said it was ‘complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the US government’.

The Cambridge-based firm licenses processor designs found in smartphones globally (Steve Parsons/PA)
The Cambridge-based firm licenses processor designs found in smartphones globally (Steve Parsons/PA)

UK-based chip designer ARM has reportedly informed employees not to work with Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Internal documents obtained by the BBC reportedly tell staff to suspend “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with the firm following an executive order issued by American president Donald Trump last week, prohibiting the technology of “foreign adversaries” using US tech without government approval.

The Cambridge-based firm, which was acquired by Japanese telecom company Softbank in September 2016, licenses processor designs found in many smartphones globally.

ARM is complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the US government ARM spokeswoman

It is claimed ARM is concerned it is affected by Mr Trump’s order because its designs use “US origin technology”.

A spokeswoman for the firm did not comment on the leaked memo directly but said: “ARM is complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the US government.”

A Huawei spokesman said: “We value our close relationships with our partners, but recognise the pressure some of them are under as a result of politically motivated decisions.

“We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world.”

The move comes after Google confirmed it was restricting Huawei’s access to the Android operating system which its mobile devices rely on.

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(Yui Mok/PA)

As a result, new and yet-to-be released Huawei phones are unlikely to be able to access Google apps as part of Android, although a temporary licence and grace period sanctioned by the US government will initially allow support for existing devices until August.

Earlier, EE chief executive Marc Allera said it had chosen to “pause” the sale of Huawei 5G phones for its 5G launch, amid tensions between the US and the Chinese company.

Huawei has pledged to sign “no-spy” agreements with countries including the UK to ease concerns about its technology.

The UK Government is yet to announce a decision on the company’s presence in 5G networks.

PA

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