The action of Trade against Huawei will not affect the US elections

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Mr S T Liew, Qualcomm president for Taiwan and Southeast Asia, says he is “very optimistic” that innovation, particularly in the emerging 5G space, will not be stunted.

Innovation in consumer technology will continue to “flourish” despite the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, and in particular the actions imposed against tech giant Huawei.

These developments are “just a small hiccup on the way to the US election”, Mr S T Liew, president for Taiwan and Southeast Asia at Qualcomm, said in an interview on Monday (Jun 10).

US chipmaker Qualcomm is caught in the cross-hairs of this trade tussle as it is a key component supplier for the Chinese smartphone maker, with its Snapdragon mobile chip a mainstay in most Android-based phones today. However, it was one of several global tech firms, including chipmakers like Intel and Broadcom, to cut ties with Huawei after the US government put the latter on a trade blacklist in May citing national security concerns.

Developments revolving around Huawei would not dampen innovation, said Mr Liew, pointing out that there are plenty of “eager-eyed, energetic young people” in the world today who are passionate and keen on building on their interests.

“These young people, they look at building blocks from the Qualcomms of the world, and they look around and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to become the next Alibaba and all that, nothing can stop these people, nothing,” the executive said. “Not politics, not disaster, not greenhouse effect.”

“I will tell you that innovation, as long as you allow it to flourish, it will flourish,” the self-professed optimist added.

He pointed out that innovation continues to take place around the world, and in many different areas like financial tech, farming and smart factories such as those set up by Taiwan’s Foxconn.

“So to your question (on) will innovation suffer? I don’t think so,” Mr Liew said. “I think this is just a small hiccup on the way to the US election.”