Huawei cuts jobs at Seattle-area research division as part of larger layoff – 10minmail

(Geekwire Photo)

Chinese tech giant Huawei is shedding 41 jobs at its Bellevue, Wash.-based engineering office, according to a notice filed with the state of Washington.

Huawei said yesterday that it would lay off more than two-thirds of its 850-person U.S. research arm, known as Futurewei, in response to a trade ban put on the company by the federal government.

The notice describes the layoffs as a “closure.” There are currently 113 Huawei employees on LinkedIn in the Seattle area. We’ve followed up with the company and will update this story when we hear back.

Futurewei, which also has offices in the Bay Area, Chicago and Dallas, collaborates with U.S. universities on technological research.

President Trump signed an executive order in May that paved the way for a ban on U.S. companies doing business with Huawei on the grounds that the company posed a national security risk. The Justice Department has also charged the firm with stealing trade secrets and other crimes.

Since the ban took effect, American tech firms including Google and Facebook have scaled back support for Huawei-made devices. Trump lifted some of the restrictions last month as part of larger trade negotiations, but the company remains blacklisted.

Huawei invests heavily in research efforts such as Futurewei, with 45 percent of its workforce engaged in research and development.

Huawei first opened the Bellevue engineering office in 2016 as part of a wave of out-of-town tech companies opening Seattle-area engineering hubs. Bellevue is increasingly seen as a destination for tech companies looking to grow outside of Seattle. Earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to build a large skyscraper with space for thousands of employees, part of the Seattle tech giant’s broader expansion in Bellevue.

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