Huawei’s U.S.-based research arm Futurewei Technologies is in the midst of separating its operations from Huawei.
Reuters reports that Futurewei Technologies began the process of distancing itself from Huawei in May, when the U.S. Commerce Department placed Huawei and its affiliates on its entity list, barring U.S. firms from providing technology to it.
Futurewei has reportedly banned Huawei employees from its offices and has banned employees from using the Huawei name or logo in communications, according to unnamed sources cited in Reuters’ report. Futurewei has also moved its employees to a new IT system. Huawei still owns the company, however.
Futurewei has filed more than 2,100 patents in areas including telecommunications and 5G cellular networks. The company has partnerships with several universities across the U.S., and employs hundreds of people in offices in Silicon Valley, Dallas, Texas, Seattle, Washington and Chicago, Illinois.
The company doesn’t have its own brand nor website and has been nearly indistinguishable from Huawei, according to Reuters. But surprisingly, the company was not placed on the Commerce Department’s entity list.
Futurewei’s research collaborators are now mulling how to handle their relationship with the company. Reuters reports the University of California-Berkeley has decided to allow researchers to continue working with Futurewei, even though it had cut ties from Huawei earlier this year. The university has allowed Futurewei employees to continue to participate in research reviews. But those employees must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and must agree in writing not to share sensitive information with Huawei, according to Reuters.
Huawei, meanwhile, is reeling after being blacklisted by the Commerce Department. Companies such as Google, which supplies the operating system for Huawei’s smartphones, and chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm have made arrangements to phase out or cut off relations with the company. Several firms around the world, including Toshiba and Panasonic, have made similar moves.