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12.06.2019
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Huawei postpones planned laptop launch amid US trade war

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Huawei has indefinitely postponed the imminent launch of a new Windows laptop, consumer division Richard Yu has confirmed to CNBC. The product was set for a reveal at the ongoing CES Asia show in Shanghai this week, but trade sanctions from the US government are restricting Huawei’s ability to use American products like Microsoft software and Intel processors. The news was first reported by The Information.

Yu described the situation as “unfortunate” to CNBC, saying that the laptop would have been unveiled this week without a release date, but Huawei’s placement on the US Entity List has stopped the company from announcing the product altogether. Whether the laptop ever sees the light of day will depend on how long Huawei remains on the blacklist.

Microsoft has removed Huawei’s laptops from sale

There aren’t any technical details of the upcoming laptop in the reports, beyond that it would be a new entry in the MateBook line. Huawei updated its well-regarded MateBook X Pro line at Mobile World Congress in February, while the mid-range MateBook 13 was introduced at CES in January.

Digitimes reported earlier this week that Huawei is halting production and development of laptop computers. Microsoft has remained silent on the matter other than removing Huawei’s laptops from sale in its online store.

Huawei has suggested that its stockpiling of components and proprietary technology will mitigate the effect of US sanctions, and the laptop division only represents a tiny sliver of the company’s business. But the computers represent Huawei’s biggest consumer success in the US to date, and the retreat could be the most visible sign yet of the damage the trade war is inflicting on the company.

Huawei didn’t respond to a request from The Verge for comment.

Update June 12th, 00.45AM ET: Added CNBC’s confirmation of the story.

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