China’s Huawei laid off more than two-thirds of the 850-strong workforce at its Futurewei Technologies research arm in the US, after being blacklisted by the government.
Futurewei, which has offices in Silicon Valley and the greater Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas areas, said it cut more than 600 jobs. The unit, set up in part to work with universities and researchers, recorded $510 million in operating costs last year.
An employee still employed at Futurewei told Reuters that work ground to a halt after the ban took effect.
This still leaves roughly 1,200 Huawei employees in the US, although most of them are involved in customer support, public affairs and the supply chain. Moreover, the company’s American ranks have been shrinking ever since AT&T backed out of a phone deal due to US government pressure. The team is a shell of its former self, for better or for worse, and it’s unlikely to bounce back unless talk of a partial reprieve on trade gives Huawei a break.