Huawei has stockpiled up to a 12-month supply of parts as a buffer against a potential ban
Huawei is said to have built up around a 12-month supply of key components to help brace itself from the impact of the US-China trade war, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Preparations began around six months ago and included not only chips, but also passive components and optical parts. Stocks range from 6-12 months for key parts and around 3 months' worth for less crucial parts while it has also sought to establish partnerships with non-US suppliers should the worst-case scenario transpire as it has.
"Previously, Huawei would only use the world's top one or two suppliers for electronic components, but this year it assigned the team to extend the reach to three to four suppliers for each component," said a source told the Asian Review. "The most important goal is to avoid the worst case that Huawei's products in smartphone, servers, and telecom equipment could not be delivered because of a US ban or other trade war uncertainties."
Just how successful Huawei's strategy will prove is unclear. Out of the 92 major suppliers used by Huawei, more than 30 originate in US. However, even suppliers originating throughout Asia including Sony, TSMC, Japan Display, SK Hynix among others are uncertain of their ability to sell Huawei their components as most also include materials or IP sourced from the US. Although Huawei has considerable means and internal engineering resources, the loss of the official Google Android license and access to x86 chip from either Intel or AMD may mean its components stockpile is next to useless despite its existence.