Chinese tech giant Huawei has moved some of its staff from Russia to Central Asia over fears of Western sanctions, the Vedomosti business daily reported Monday, citing sources close to the company.
Huawei began relocating Chinese and Russian managers and heads of divisions to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Vedomosti.
Some Russian managers were “sent on long-term business trips” to these countries, Vedomosti quoted a source as saying, with an unidentified Huawei executive in Russia confirming the information.
Kazakhstan-based staff will be responsible for Huawei’s business development in the entire post-Soviet market, said Denis Kuskov, CEO of the Telecom Daily research agency, Vedomosti reported.
Huawei has declined to comment on the Vedomosti report.
The supplier of smartphones, electronic equipment and other high-tech gear is likely taking steps to avoid secondary Western sanctions and the loss of its European market, experts told the media outlet.
“Huawei clearly hears U.S. signals and is building two-tiered infrastructure: relocating all operations to the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] while delivering goods to Russia via parallel imports,” Mikhail Burmistrov, head of market research firm Infoline-Analytics, told Vedomosti.
Huawei temporarily suspended new orders and furloughed Russian staff earlier this year.