Huawei refutes report saying they’re slowing down smartphone production

Gelo Gonzales

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Huawei refutes report saying they’re slowing down smartphone production
Anonymous sources say Huawei orders at Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn have been reduced but Huawei says 'global production levels are normal'

MANILA, Philippines – Huawei has responded to a report saying it is slashing production lines for its phones on Monday, June 3, US time.

“Huawei refutes these claims. Our global production levels are normal, with no notable adjustments in either direction,” the company said to various news outfits. 

The refuted claims originate from an article by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), which posited that the company is scaling back based on information from Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn. Foxconn assembles phones for the likes of Xiaomi, Apple, and Huawei.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the report said that Foxconn has shut down several production lines for Huawei as the company reduced its orders for phones.

The report added production flexibility is built into the processes of a manufacturer like Foxconn, ready to reduce or deploy more depending on shifting client demands. In late 2018, Apple famously went through a similar experience, decreasing orders for the iPhone XR also from Foxconn due to low demand.

Huawei is coming off the opposite end. It had been surging all the way through the first quarter of the year, posting great shipment numbers in spite of a global smartphone market that’s been slowing down. The brand at several points had caught up to Apple, and had set their sights on Samsung earlier in the year, saying it plans to overtake the South Korean brand by end of 2020. 

But that date may have to be pushed back as the US assault on Huawei kicked into high gear in late May, putting the brand in a trade blacklist that cut the brand off from key US suppliers. The US concerns have primarily been on Huawei network equipment, and not the phones. But with the blacklisting, the US effectively made it into an issue that now directly affected consumers worldwide, and thus effectively brought the conversation and their agenda to the the masses.

What used to be a stuffy back-and-forth between states and tech giants, now became one of “Hey, so what’s going to happen to my Huawei phone now?”

As far as phone production is concerned, nothing, according to Huawei.(READ: What to do if you have a Huawei phone)

As far as hitting their end-2020 target of catching up to Samsung, that may take a little longer now, as Zhao Ming, president of Huawei brand Honor, has shown less certainty. “As the new situation has emerged, it is too early to say whether we are able to achieve the goal,” Zhao said at a briefing, Friday, May 31, as quoted by SCMP. – 

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.