Huawei Technologies and ZTE, China’s two largest telecoms equipment providers, have slowed down their 5G base station installation in the country, a sign that Washington’s escalating efforts to curb Beijing’s tech ambitions are having an effect, reported the Nikkei Asian Review.
Both Huawei and ZTE told some suppliers to slow down shipments of certain 5G base station-related products in June, so the Chinese companies could redesign products and change some equipment to remove as much US content as possible. It is part of a “de-Americanization” effort by China after the Trump administration tightened export controls on Huawei, multiple Nikkei sources said.
The move by the two homegrown telecoms equipment suppliers coincides with Chinese carriers’ cautious stance over investing in 5G infrastructure, amid uncertainty over the likely returns despite the hype created by authorities and industries that are keen to profit from 5G deployment.
“We were told by our client to slow down our shipments to them in June, and the shipments almost came to a complete stop in July,” a ZTE components and parts supplier executive told Nikkei. “We have to go through our product verification tests again as the client changed so many of their designs and we don’t know when exactly the client will ask us to resume normal shipping.