Some of the world's biggest tech companies have asked their employees to cut off communications with Huawei in response to the U.S. blacklisting the Chinese telecommunications firm, Reuters reported on Monday.
Sources familiar with the matter told the news outlet that chipmakers Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., as well as mobile research firm InterDigital Wireless Inc. and South Korean carrier LG Uplus, have all restricted their employees from informal conversations with Huawei staff.
Those conversations have been a standard part of international meetings where companies set technical standards for broad projects like the next generation of mobile networks known as 5G.
The Department of Commerce blacklisted Huawei in May, a move that barred U.S. firms from working with the company, arguing Huawei's products pose a national security risk. Implementation of the ban was delayed by 90 days to give tech companies more time to prepare for the change.
That designation does not prohibit contact between U.S. companies and Huawei.
Still, some U.S. and overseas companies have asked their employees to limit contacts to avoid any potential problems with the federal government, according to Reuters.
Intel declined to comment on the Reuters report. InterDigital told The Hill they had given their employees instructions for how to interact with Huawei employees. It did not specify what the communication was.
“InterDigital has provided guidance to our engineers with regard to interaction with Huawei engineers at standards meetings, to ensure we comply with U.S. regulations,” the company’s chief communications officer Patrick Van de Wille said in a statement.
Qualcomm did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
The Hill could not reach LG Uplus, but the South Korean company told Reuters that it is “voluntarily refraining from interacting with Huawei workers, other than meeting for network equipment installation or maintenance issues.”
— Updated at 12:12 p.m.