Lenovo, the world's largest personal computer maker, dismissed rumours that it is caving to US pressure and suspending supplies to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant that was placed on a US trade blacklist last week.
An internet user who identified himself as Hui Ji, pursuing doctoral studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, had sparked the online controversy after posting that the Beijing-based PC giant had suspended supplies of computers and servers to Shenzhen-based Huawei.
The post on China's Quora-like Zhihu on Saturday went viral, leading some in the online community to question Lenovo's patriotism.
Lenovo responded by saying that Huawei was an "important client" and that "supplies have never been cut off." The company will "strictly abide by the laws and regulations of the countries and regions where it operates as a baseline, and continue to sell products and services to Huawei," according to a statement.
It also said it will resort to legal means to hold rumormongers accountable.
Hui later took down the post and apologised on Zhihu, saying his conclusion was based on "single-sided" sources. He did not immediately respond to online messages. Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent on Sunday.
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The US Commerce Department placed Huawei and its affiliates on a trade blacklist last week after concluding that it was engaged in activities contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests. The blacklist would test Huawei's dependence on US components even though the company has been working to diversify its supply base.
ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications gear maker, was brought to the brink of collapse after the US banned the sale of technology to the company.
Lenovo became the world's No. 1 personal computer maker after buying the PC business from IBM in May 2005 for US$1.25 billion. The company also acquired IBM's commodity server business and Google's Motorola Mobility smartphone unit.
Lenovo shipped the most PC units of any vendor in the fourth quarter of 2018, giving it a market share of more than 24 per cent, according to research agencies IDC and Gartner, which both estimated that the overall PC market will continue to decline, warning that the trade war could make things worse.
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