The founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei has said the company is moving its U.S. research center to Canada due to U.S. sanctions on the firm.
Huawei’s “centre for research and development will be moved out of the United States. And that will be relocated to Canada,” Ren Zhengfei told Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper in a Monday interview.
He told the newspaper that U.S. restrictions prevent Huawei from communicating with American employees.
“We can’t exchange calls or e-mails with them,” Ren said. “That’s why we will shift our focus of development more toward Canada.”
According to the Globe and Mail, Ren said that Huawei spent about $510 million on its U.S. research department last year. It has since cut its workforce by 600 to about 250.
Ren also said the company “plans to set up factories” in Europe. He said that manufacturing equipment outside of China could raise costs, but that “we may be able to win more trust from Europe.”
The Trump administration placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in May, and officials have said the company’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party could be a national security issue. Huawei has said it does not pose a national security threat.