Huawei and Sony will they continue to trade? Against the backdrop of a trade war, the Japanese group has just filed a license application with the United States government. Sony hopes to be able to continue to supply photo sensors to the Chinese manufacturer.
Following the Trump administration's sanctions, Huawei found itself deprived of most of its suppliers. Companies like TSMC, Samsung, Micron and SK Hynix are no longer allowed to collaborate with the Chinese group. Deprived of the TSMC founder, Huawei is no longer able to produce the Kirin SoCs for its smartphones.
To collaborate with Huawei, suppliers must file a license application from the United States Department of Commerce. In most cases, these requests are automatically rejected. However, some firms have managed to obtain a license. This is the case with Qualcomm. Within certain limits defined by the government, the two firms can do business again.
On the same subject: Huawei attacks Google in China and files a complaint for anti-competitive practices
Huawei is dependent on its Japanese suppliers
According to a report from the daily Nikkei, two Japanese firms have also applied for a license with the United States: Sony and Kioxia. Unsurprisingly, Sony wants to continue to supply photo sensors to the Chinese manufacturer. Each year, Huawei purchases one-fifth of Sony-designed photo sensors. It is Sony's second largest customer in the field, just behind Apple. On average, Huawei buys 1 trillion yen, or 8.22 billion euros, of photo sensors from Sony every year. It is therefore essential for Sony to preserve its partnership with Huawei.
For its part, Kioxia, a company belonging to Toshiba, is highly dependent on the profits generated by its collaboration with Huawei. According to Nikkei, memory chips for smartphones generate 40% of the subsidiary's revenue. Huawei is said to be one of the group's biggest buyers.
Huawei relies on many components from Japan to build their smartphones. Within the P30 Pro, for example, there are more than 80% Japanese components. The front and rear photo sensors are notably supplied by Sony. This is also the case with the depth sensor that makes up the quadruple camera. On the MatePad Pro side, 81.4% of the components come from Japan. The stakes are therefore high for the Chinese group, whose sales of smartphones are about to collapse.