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Phones

Huawei refutes report it stripped back phone production amid US crackdown

Foxconn has received fewer orders for Huawei phones, the South China Morning Post reports. Huawei denies the claims, however.

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The setbacks continue for Huawei.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Problems are stacking up for Huawei as the US cracks down on the Chinese technology giant. 

After the US government barred Huawei from using US products, which includes Google's Android operating system, the company is reportedly slowing down production of its phones, according the South China Morning Post.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that manufacturers electronics from Apple, Huawei, Sony, Nokia, Xiaomi and more, has axed several Huawei production lines after Huawei cut back orders, SCMP said, citing sources at Foxconn.

Huawei, however, says the report is false. "Huawei refutes these claims. Our global production levels are normal, with no notable adjustments in either direction," a spokesperson said to CNET. 

The US has long feared Huawei's relationship with the Chinese government. The main concern is not with Huawei phones, but rather the company's telecommunications infrastructure equipment. The US government worries that Huawei could build backdoors into its infrastructure, which would allow the Chinese government espionage and sabotage opportunities. Huawei telecoms equipment has been banned in the US since 2012.

Huawei's US woes have considerably worsened since the beginning of last year. In January of 2018 the US government pressured carriers like Verizon and AT&T to kibosh deals to carry Huawei's phones. Huawei was added to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List on May 15, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Huawei from US communications networks.

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Huawei was given a 90-day reprieve before the ban goes into effect. Its most pressing task is to build an operating system, as Google will no longer grant Huawei an Android license, that will allow the company to remain competitive outside China. At last word, that new OS will be ready internationally next year.

After overtaking Apple in shipment volume last year, Huawei was hoping to topple Samsung to become the world's top-selling phone brand. That goal seems further and further out of Huawei's reach, as it seems every other day bears bad news for the company.

Originally published June 2.
Update, June 3: Adds comment from Huawei.