After U.S. sanctions cut off its access to key chipmaker TSMC, Google’s Android apps, and Qualcomm’s 5G wireless modems, Huawei is now looking to license its handset designs to third parties in order to gain access to critical components, Bloomberg is reporting.
Citing people familiar with the Shenzhen-based tech giant’s plans, the publication notes that Huawei may license its smartphone designs to a unit of state-owned China Postal and Telecommunications Appliances Co (PTAC), which will allow it to obtain parts barred under the Trump-era blacklisting.
The unit, known as Xnova, is already selling Huawei-branded Nova phones on its e-commerce site. Moreover, Chinese telecom equipment maker TD Tech will also sell some phones featuring Huawei’s designs.
Engineers at Huawei have already begun redesigning the circuits of some marquee smartphones previously powered by the company’s in-house HiSilicon chips so they can adapt to Qualcomm or MediaTek Inc. processors, said one of the people.
Huawei expects the partnerships could bring smartphone shipments — including inhouse models and those sold by partners — to more than 30 million units next year, the person added.
The Biden administration has shown no signs of easing off on the sanctions imposed on Huawei, though CFO Meng Wanzhou recently struck a deal that released her from a U.S. extradition request.