US Tech Giants Are Hugely Exposed to China Which Is Already Turning Away From Them
The US suppliers Huawei can't thrive without, in turn can not thrive without Chinese companies and consumers
Broadcom reported it projects $2 billion less in revenue in 2019 alone due to Trump’s Huawei ban. But the really noteable part about its report was that just $0.9 billion of that were lost sales to Huawei.
It said Huawei makes up $900 million or 4% of Broadcom’s annual sales and that an expected revenue drop “extends beyond one particular customer.” Broadcom’s dramatic forecast likely sets the dour tone of the next wave of quarterly reports from chip makers.
Huawei is the world’s third largest chip buyer, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. An analyst told EE Times earlier this week that China’s other OEMs are scrambling to find sources in Europe, Korea, and Japan to protect themselves from getting caught up in the trade war.
The other $1.1 billion is lost sales to Chinese companies. Companies which are not affected by the ban, but which are nonetheless preemptively redirecting to parts sources in Europe, Korea and Japan. This is the part that is really worrying to US tech.
Even the $11 billion Huawei paid US tech companies in 2019, is a drop in the ocean next to their total exposure to China:
Intel, Nvidia, AMD… All these tech companies belowed of the stock market, would be pale imitations of themselves without Chinese companies and consumers.
$11 billion in lost sales to Huawei is just one half of the story. Judging by Broadcom’s number the lost US tech revenue from China this year will really be around twice that, and that is just the start. As more alternatives become available in China and in third countries, even more will be surrendered. No wonder they’re lobbying desperately to get the US government to change course:
Huawei’s American chip suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, are quietly pressing the US government to ease its ban on sales to the Chinese tech giant, even as Huawei itself avoids typical government lobbying, people familiar with the situation said.
Executives from top US chip makers Intel and Xilinx attended a meeting in late May with the US Commerce Department to discuss a response to Huawei’s placement on the blacklist, one person said.
The ban bars US suppliers from selling to Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment company, without special approval, because of what the government said were national security issues.
Qualcomm has also pressed the US Commerce Department over the issue, four people said.
Chip makers argue that Huawei units selling products such as smartphones and computer servers use commonly available parts and are unlikely to present the same security concerns as the Chinese technology firm’s 5G networking gear, according to three people.
“This isn’t about helping Huawei. It’s about preventing harm to American companies,” one of the people said.