Day: May 15, 2019

SpaceX’s Elon Musk sees ‘fundamental goodness’ in 60-satellite Starlink launch

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket sits on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, in preparation for the launch of 60 Starlink broadband data satellites. (SpaceX Photo)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says this week’s scheduled launch of 60 Starlink satellites is aimed at spreading “fundamental goodness” in the form of high-speed internet access for the billions of people who currently don’t have it.

The first full stack of Starlink satellites is packed in the nose cone of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that’s set to rise into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. PT) Thursday. Liftoff was originally scheduled for tonight, but had to be called off with less than 15 minutes left on the countdown clock due to unacceptable upper-level winds.

At roughly 18.5 tons, the total payload mass will set a record for a SpaceX liftoff, Musk said today during a pre-launch teleconference with reporters.

The first-stage booster for this launch was previously used for the Telstar 18 Vantage satellite launch last September and the Iridium 8 satellite launch in January. Minutes after launch, the booster is due to separate and land itself on a drone ship called “Of Course I Still Love You,” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.

Starting about an hour after launch, the 500-pound, flat-panel satellites will be spun into low Earth orbit like playing cards spread out on a table.

The satellites were built at SpaceX’s development facility in Redmond, Wash. Eventually, the Redmond factory could be turning out more than 1,000 satellites over the course of a year, Musk said.

“This was one of the hardest engineering projects I’ve ever seen done, and it’s been executed really well.” Musk said. “I think it is important to acknowledge that there is a lot of new technology here. So it’s possible that some of these satellites may not work. In fact, there’s a small possibility that all of the satellites will not work.”

The payoff? “The goal of the Starlink system is to provide high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity, ideally throughout the world,” Musk said. Although he didn’t name a price, Musk said he expected Starlink eventually to “provide a competitive option” for the estimated 4 billion people around the world who can’t afford or can’t get access to broadband internet service.

“There’s a lot of, like, fundamental goodness about Starlink,” he said.

But there’s also, like, a revenue model: Musk estimated that once Starlink is fully up and running, it could generate $30 billion or more in annual revenue for SpaceX.

“We see this as a way forward to generate revenue that can be used to develop more advanced rockets and spaceships,” he said. “And that, we think, is a key steppingstone on the way toward establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon.”

The income from Starlink is meant to help fund advanced development of Starship, the super-heavy-lift launch system that Musk intends to use to send a million settlers to Mars in the decades ahead. The first prototypes of the Starship system are already taking shape at SpaceX’s facilities in Texas and Florida.

There’s lots to be done before Musk’s city on Mars gets built. This first launch is primarily aimed at demonstrating the technology for what could eventually amount to as many as 11,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.

Musk said only about 400 satellites would be required to build up a “useful” satellite constellation, which translates into about six launches after this week’s scheduled deployment. Mark Juncosa, vice president of vehicle engineering at SpaceX, said another six launches would provide good coverage over the United States. An additional six to 12 launches would raise the satellite tally high enough to cover the world.

“Within a year and a half, maybe two years, SpaceX will probably have more satellites in orbit than all other satellites combined,” Musk said.

More satellites will make for better service, but Musk said “one does not need anywhere around 10,000 satellites.” He said SpaceX cited the 11,000-satellite figure in its filings with the Federal Communications Commission just to set a maximum for the Starlink system.

SpaceX launched two prototype Starlink satellites in February 2018. Since then, there have been big changes in the design of the satellites — and in the leadership of SpaceX’s satellite team in Redmond.

Previously:: Elon Musk reveals how to stuff 60 satellites on SpaceX’s rocket

Last month, SpaceX finally received FCC clearance for service using satellites that fly as low as 342 miles (550 kilometers), but the company will require additional sign-offs from international agencies for service outside the U.S.

Each satellite is equipped with a krypton ion drive for maneuvering in orbit, as well as phased-array antennas for transferring data to and from the ground.

These first satellites aren’t equipped with laser systems to communicate with each other in space. Instead, they’ll use a “ground bounce” trick to relay signals between satellites via SpaceX’s gateways. “It’ll be working pretty much like an intersat link,” Musk said. The lasers will come later.

Musk said each batch of 60 satellites represents about a terabit’s worth of useful connectivity — that is, a trillion bits of data. “If you add up all the solar panels on the system, it’s actually more solar power than the International Space Station,” he said.

The satellites will upload NORAD data about other objects in space, and tweak their trajectories accordingly to avoid orbital collisions. Their orbits are designed to maximize the chance that they’ll descend and burn themselves up at the end of their useful lives, with 5 percent or less of their mass surviving atmospheric re-entry.

On the ground, SpaceX plans to set up six satellite gateways, including installations in Redmond and North Bend, Wash. There’s also a telemetry, tracking and command station planned in Brewster, Wash.

SpaceX has also filed an application with the FCC to deploy up to a million user terminals. “What does the Starlink user terminal look like?” Musk said. “It basically looks like a small- to medium-sized pizza. It’s basically a flat disk, but unlike, say, a DirecTV satellite dish, which has to point in a specific direction … you can basically put it at almost any angle that is reasonably pointed at the sky.”

Musk said SpaceX hasn’t yet tried to sign up customers, but “we’re definitely interested in having those discussions.” Advance sales efforts, perhaps focusing on telecom partners, are likely to begin late this year or early next year, Musk said.

Starlink isn’t the only game in town: There are at least a half-dozen other ventures angling for a piece of the broadband constellation market, including OneWeb, Amazon, Telesat, LeoSat Enterprises, Boeing and Facebook.

Musk welcomes the competition. “My guess is there will probably be at least one other low-Earth-orbit constellation,” he said. But he’s trying to avoid obsessing over his rivals. For example, he declined one reporter’s invitation to comment on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ plans for a satellite constellation known as Project Kuiper.

“With respect to potentially competing satellite systems,” Musk said, “we just want to stay focused on Starlink.”

This report has been updated with tonight’s scrub.

Tesla’s senior director of global communications is leaving the company — here are all the key names who have departed in the past year (TSLA)

    • Tesla is known for its high rate of executive turnover, and the past year has been no different.
    • During a year in which the automaker faced production and delivery issues, investigations from the federal government, and questions about the decision-making of CEO Elon Musk, departures from senior employees have added yet another challenge.
    • Tesla’s senior director of global communications Dave Arnold is leaving the company. Arnold served the electric automaker for two years.

Tesla has seen a lot of senior employees leave in the last year.

As the automaker has faced production and delivery issues, investigations from the federal government, and questions about the decision-making of CEO Elon Musk, departures from senior employees have added yet another challenge.

The outflow hasn’t stopped in 2019, either.

Read more: Tesla’s price target has been slashed by 3 major Wall Street banks. Here’s where other analysts stand right now.

After losing its CFO in January, its top lawyer in February, and its senior director of global security in April, Tesla’s senior director of global communications Dave Arnold is leaving the company. Arnold served the electric automaker for two years.

“We’d like to thank Dave for his work in support of Tesla’s mission, and we wish him well,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider on Wednesday.

These are the key names who have left Tesla or have announced their departure in 2018 or so far in 2019, as well as when they left and where they went next (according to their LinkedIn profile or company announcements):

  • January 2018 – Jason Mendez, director of manufacturing engineering: LinkedIn profile does not list next position
  • January 2018 – Will McColl, manager of equipment engineering: founded WaveForm Design
  • February 2018 – Jon McNeill, president of global sales and services: became COO of Lyft
  • March 2018 – Eric Branderiz, chief accounting officer: became CFO of Enphase Energy
  • March 2018 – Susan Repo, corporate treasurer and vice president of finance: became CFO of Topia (she left Topia in June, according to her LinkedIn page)
  • April 2018 – Jim Keller, head of Autopilot hardware engineering: became head of silicon engineering at Intel
  • April 2018 – Georg Ell, director of Western Europe operations: became CEO of Smoothwall
  • May 2018 – Matthew Schwall, director of field performance engineering: became heady of field safety at Waymo
  • July 2018 – Ganesh Srivats, vice president overseeing retail, delivery, and marketing: became CEO of Moda Operandi
  • September 2018 – Sarah O’Brien, vice president of communications: became VP of executive communications at Facebook
  • September 2018 – Gabrielle Toledano, chief people officer: became executive in residence at Comcast Ventures
  • September 2018 – Dave Morton, chief accounting officer: became CFO of Anaplan
  • September 2018 – Liam O’Connor, vice president of global supply management: became chief procurement officer and head of bikes and scooters at Lyft
  • September 2018 – Antoin Abou-Haydar, senior director of production and quality: became vice president of global quality for Byton
  • October 2018 – Justin McAnear, vice president of worldwide finance and operations: became CFO of 10X Genomics
  • November 2018 – Phil Rothenberg, vice president in the legal department: became general counsel of Sonder
  • November 2018 – Jeff Jones, head of global security: LinkedIn profile does not list next position
  • November 2018 – Dan Kim, senior director of global sales, marketing, and delivery: became director of Airbnb Plus at Airbnb
  • December 2018 – Aaron Chew, director of investor relations: LinkedIn profile does not list next position
  • January 2019 — Todd Maron, general counsel: LinkedIn profile does not list next position
  • January 2019 — Charles Mwangi , senior director of engineering: LinkedIn profile says he is working at an unnamed startup
  • February 2019 — Cindy Nicola, vice president of global recruiting: LinkedIn profile does not list next position
  • February 2019 — Dane Butswinkas, general counsel: returning to his trial practice at the firm Williams & Connolly
  • March 2019 — Deepak Ahuja, CFO: retired
  • March 2019 — Praveen Arichandran, director of growth: joining Citizen in April to lead growth.
  • April 2019 — Karl Wagner, senior director of global security: PTSD and suicide-prevention advocacy
  • May 2019 — Dave Arnold, senior director of global communications: LinkedIn profile does not list next position.

Have you worked for Tesla? Do you have a story to share? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

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Tesla is losing another top executive amid a brutal week for the electric automaker (TSLA)

  • Tesla is losing another top executive, this time in the communications department. The senior director of global communications Dave Arnold is leaving the company.
  • Arnold served the electric-car company for two years. He follows a long line of Tesla executives who have parted ways with the company in the past year.
  • “We’d like to thank Dave for his work in support of Tesla’s mission, and we wish him well,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider on Wednesday. Arnold will remain at the company for another month while Keely Sulprizio, the director of global communications, takes over his duties.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla’s senior director of global communications Dave Arnold is leaving the company. Arnold served the electric automaker for two years.

“We’d like to thank Dave for his work in support of Tesla’s mission, and we wish him well,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider on Wednesday. Arnold will spend another month at the company, while Keely Sulprizio, the director of global communications, takes over his duties.

Arnold follows a long procession of Tesla executives who have left the company in the past year.

Tesla lost its CFO, Deepak Ahuja, in January. Its general counsel, Dane Butswinkas, left in February after just two months on the job.

The high rate of turnover in Tesla’s executive ranks is just one of a number of challenges the company is staring down at the moment.

Read more: It’s time for Tesla to go into stealth mode for the rest of 2019

Ongoing production challenges and difficulty shipping its Tesla Model 3 to international markets have weighed heavily on the company’s share price. A Tesla analyst at Evercore ISI slashed his target price for Tesla shares to $200 — down from $240 per share — for the second time in a month. On Monday, Tesla shares hit their lowest point since January 2017.

Dustups between CEO Elon Musk and US federal regulators have also rattled investors.

More recently, Tesla’s disappointing first-quarter earnings report did the company no favors with a $702 million loss on the books for the three-month period that ended March 31.

Despite the turmoil, Tesla has been able to count some victories. The company recently boosted the size of its latest capital raise from $2.3 billion to $2.7 billion, and AutoTrader named Tesla the most-loved car brand this week.

SEE ALSO: Tesla’s senior director of communications is leaving the company — here are all the key names who have departed in recent months

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NOW WATCH: Elon Musk says Tesla owners could make up to $30,000 a year turning their cars into ‘robotaxis’

Big tech and pro sports converge in Silicon Valley during NBA Playoffs, offering a preview for Seattle

Google Nest branding was all over during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in Oakland, Calif. Wednesday evening. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

REPORTING FROM OAKLAND: It was a regular break in the action during the first quarter of Tuesday’s NBA playoff game at Oracle Arena when a familiar voice — at least here in Silicon Valley — echoed through the building.

“Hey Google, turn down the lights.”

Google’s popular voice assistant helped set the mood as the dance team took the floor for a quick performance before the postseason battle resumed.

Such was the scene during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals as Google, with its massive headquarters located just south of here, spent big dollars on a unique sponsorship with the hometown Golden State Warriors.

The deal is part of a growing convergence of tech and pro sports in the Bay Area — and offered a potential glimpse of what’s to come in Seattle.

Tuesday’s game featured several “Hey Google” demos during in-game breaks, showing fans different ways the virtual assistant can be used: Hey Google, play Gonna Make You Sweat … Hey Google, how many 3-pointers did Steph Curry make this season?

But the most impactful moment came after the game, when all 19,596 fans in attendance walked away with a free Google Home Mini device. At $1 million, it was hailed as “the largest and most valuable giveaway of a Google product at a live sporting event in history.” Fans were able to enter a sweepstakes for free tickets by activating their device at home after the game.

Google has dabbled in sports but this was the first Nest-related sports deal (Nest recently rebranded to Google Nest, the company’s new smart home arm). It was also the first tech giveaway for both Google and the Warriors.

It’s the latest example of tech and sports feeding off each other, particularly in Silicon Valley, where wealthy companies, executives, and investors have increasingly grown close to the dominant local NBA team over the past decade.

Mike Kitts, vice president of partnerships for the Warriors, said he’s seen activity between tech companies and the team significantly increase since he joined the franchise in 2012.

“We’ve hit a tipping point where both industries are in a position to actually accept each other,” Kitts said, speaking to GeekWire at Oracle Arena before Game 1. “For us, we pride ourselves on being the tip of that spear. From ownership on down, we created a culture and mindset that allows us to partner in a very authentic and meaningful way. That’s what tech companies are looking for.”

Added Kitts: “Our organization takes on the culture and mindset of the Valley.”

Nearly 20,000 Warriors fans received a free Google Home Mini after Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. (Golden State Warriors Photo)

Kate Whittington, partner marketing manager at Google, said her company “really supports the Bay Area” and saw the sponsorship as a contextual way to raise awareness about Google Nest and the accompanying smart home devices.

“We’re both really forward-thinking, innovative organizations,” she said. “To be able to come together and really push each other’s limits on what we can do is super exciting.”

Mike Kitts, vice president of partnerships for the Warriors, and Kate Whittington, partner marketing manager at Google. (GeekWire Photos / Taylor Soper)

Tech runs deep throughout the Warriors far beyond company logos such as Google or Rakuten, the Japanese tech giant that paid $60 million to sponsor the team’s jerseys for three years.

Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob is a longtime venture capitalist with famed Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins. The players are also into it. The region’s tech clout was one reason why star forward Kevin Durant wanted to play for the team. Veteran swingman Andre Iguodala is one of the NBA’s savviest investors, while Curry is also involved. They show up at local tech events and invest in nearby startups such as Lime.

Jonas Jerebko, a power forward who signed with the team last year, is the first active NBA player to own an esports organization.

“Tech is where it’s at,” Jerebko told GeekWire on Tuesday in the locker room. “Esports is a big part of it — it’s always evolving, always new things and new games. The kids love it. It’s very competitive. I like it.”

Players and tech execs are often seen mingling outside the locker room after games.

“The tech companies get access to the Warriors’ glamour, investment money and thoughtful approach to wading into this world,” wrote The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “The Warriors players get access to some of the smartest, most creative and aggressive business people in the world.”

The Warriors will move to a brand new billion-dollar Chase Center next season that will boast the latest technology thanks to partners such as Google and Accenture.

Zoom, a San Jose, Calif.-based videoconferencing startup that recently went public, and Sony’s PS4 have branding around Oracle Arena. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

Up in the Pacific Northwest, pro sports franchise owners certainly have tech ties. The late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owned the Trail Blazers — his sister Jody Allen, who has taken over ownership, was at Game 1 in Oakland on Wednesday — in addition to NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders soccer club. Nintendo held a majority stake in the Seattle Mariners before selling in 2016; current owner John Stanton is a former wireless industry pioneer. Merritt Paulson helped launch HBO’s first subscription video on-demand service before running the Portland Timbers.

And though T-Mobile inked a 25-year naming rights deal with the Mariners and Microsoft Xbox had the Sounders jersey sponsorship until this season, there isn’t quite the same level of top-down activity between Seattle’s sports franchises and the local tech scene.

But that could soon change.

Seattle is getting an NHL franchise and a glitzy new high-tech arena in 2021. Tech executives from companies based in the region have been attending private VIP events for potential season ticket holders. Could that team, which is partly owned by Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy, help replicate what’s going on in the Bay Area?

The proposed redeveloped KeyArena. (Rendering via Seattle Hockey Partners)

If Amazon wants to get further into sports — the company is investing heavily in sports streaming rights — then the new NHL team would provide an opportunity. The new arena, located blocks from Amazon’s sprawling urban campus, could benefit its interest in live sports and music as a potential test-bed of sorts for new services and products.

“As part of the ownership team, we are hopeful that a lot of companies in Seattle and Washington will be interested in being apart of building the hockey community here,” Jassy told GeekWire last year, adding that he hopes Amazon will be included in that.

Tim Leiweke, the sports and entertainment vet who is leading Seattle’s NHL franchise,  told GeekWire in 2017 that he met with Amazon about potentially integrating something similar to the checkout-less Amazon Go concept at a renovated Key Arena.

Todd Humphrey, former CEO of Seattle startup LiquidPlanner and co-founder of Toronto healthcare startup League, recently joined the NHL franchise as senior vice president of digital and fan experience.

“We have an enormous opportunity to shape a new technology experience for our fans and our hockey operations,” Humphrey said in February.

And if and when the NBA ever returns to Seattle — that may be awhile — it could provide another nexus of pro sports and the tech world. Much like how courtside seats at Warriors games are filled with tech luminaries, perhaps local titans such as Satya Nadella or Jeff Bezos will show up on the sidelines (though Nadella would be more likely to show up if Seattle has a pro cricket squad).

A company such as Amazon or Microsoft could try to partner with sports teams outside of the region, but there is something to be said about geographical proximity. I asked Kitts, the Warriors exec, if the team would be open to giving away Amazon Echo devices at a game in the near future. The answer was a quick “no.”

“Not only with Google, but we also have a tremendous partnership with Rakuten,” Kitts said. “We are aligned with both of them. That doesn’t really bode well for Amazon.”

President Trump’s national emergency likely won’t stop you from buying a Huawei phone, much less an iPhone. Here’s what it means for you.

  • President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and executive order banning tech products made by US adversaries isn’t likely to affect consumers here anytime soon.
  • Although the order is broad, it’s widely expected to be used to target China and Chinese equipment maker Huawei.
  • It likely will be applied to equipment purchased by telecommunications companies, not consumer products and almost certainly won’t be applied to iPhones or other goods made in China for US firms.
  • It’s unclear exactly when the rules implementing the order will take effect or precisely what they’ll cover.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump made a dramatic move Wednesday when he declared a national emergency and issued an executive order banning the import of technology products and services from US adversaries.

The action, which appeared to be targeted at China in general and at Chinese equipment maker Huawei in particular, seemed likely to ratchet up the trade tensions between the two countries. It also seemed likely to put further pressure on Huawei’s business and that of its partners. And because of how broadly the order was written, it could potentially be applied to a vast swath of goods and services, since so many technology products — even those that carry US brand names — are made in China.

Read this: Trump declares a national emergency, which could set up a huge blow to China’s Huawei

It’s not clear exactly how the order will be implemented. But at least for now, it likely will have little effect on everyday consumers. So you shouldn’t worry about being barred from purchasing a Huawei phone — much less an iPhone — anytime soon.

What kinds of products will be barred from being imported into the US under the emergency order? Communications and technology equipment and services.

Which countries’ products are affected by the order? It’s unclear. The order doesn’t specify any particular nations. Instead, it applies to unnamed “foreign adversaries.” However, it’s widely assumed that the order is targeted at China.

Which companies’ products are covered by the order? Again, it’s unclear. The order doesn’t include a blacklist of specific corporations, but it’s written broadly enough to cover a wide range of them. It applies to any technology or communications product “designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied, by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary” that poses a security risk to the United States.

“We’re all in the dark” about exactly how it will be implemented, said Steve Becker, a partner at the law firm Pillsbury who focuses on international trade law.

Who will determine which products are covered? Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross after conferring with a group of other administration officials, including the attorney general, the US trade representative, and the secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, and Homeland Security.

What kinds of products are likely to be banned? While the order is broad, Ross is widely expected to apply it fairly narrowly to Huawei’s networking equipment. He’s unlikely to target consumer products and almost certainly won’t bar devices made in China on behalf of US companies, such as Apple’s iPhones or Dell computers, Becker said.

“Clearly, the main focus has been on backbone equipment — network switches and routers,” Becker said.

When will the order take effect? Nominally, the order takes effect immediately. But it could be five months or more before the regulations that will flesh it out will be in place. The president gave Ross 150 days to publish rules to carry out the order. But even if he meets that deadline, those rules will be subject to public comment or some delay before they carry the force of law.

Will consumers or companies have to hand over previous purchases of affected products? Generally, no. Trump’s order applies to products and services purchased on or after Wednesday and to purchases that were still pending at that time. It doesn’t apply to previous purchases.

Is this going to affect the rollout of 5G services in the United States? It’s unclear. Huawei is one of the leaders in equipment for 5G — or fifth generation — wireless networks. The big US carriers had already promised not to use Huawei equipment. But, assuming that Huawei is indeed the target of the order, it could bar smaller carriers from buying the company’s equipment. That could force them to pay higher prices, and they may delay rolling out their services as a result.

Got a tip about tech? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Trump’s secretary of state warned Britain and savaged China in a stinging attack on Huawei

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Trump’s Huawei ban could spark a tit-for-tat fight with Beijing that puts Apple in the middle of the crossfire (AAPL, NVDA, INTC, AMD, QCOM)

A ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei by the Trump Administration could spark a tit-for-tat with Beijing that would turn the heat up on US tech companies, with Apple vulnerable as high-profile target for retaliation, analysts said Wednesday.

One analyst thinks Beijing’s reaction could be ‘disastrous’ for American companies.

The ban on doing business with Huawei was imposed shortly after President Trump’s executive order aimed at “foreign adversaries” in the technology industry. According to the US Commerce Department order, Huawei is now prohibited from buying parts and components from US companies without US government approval.

Huawei has been repeatedly accused of spying and violating US laws. Huawei has denied the accusations, while Beijing has denounced the charges as unfair.

Spying allegations vs Huawei

“This is clearly targeted at China spying via Huawei, something that has not been conclusively proven yet,” analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies Inc. told Business Insider. “But it represents a ban on a Chinese product in the US that has other ramifications.”

The spying allegations “could be real,” he added. But so is China’s potential reaction.

“China could retaliate by banning US products from the Chinese market using the same pretense, even it may be false,” he said. “A tit-for-tat fight that could be disastrous for any company that  sells a lot of goods into China, especially technology-based goods, if they get banned for any reason as part of a Chinese retaliatory move.”

And coming on the heels of the recent tariffs that the US and China have imposed on hundreds of millions of dollars of each other’s goods, a potential Chinese ban on certain US companies could cause significant problems.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the Trump threat could just be all bluster ahead of next month’s G-20 Summit in Japan.

“We think the bark is going to be worst than the bite, but this adds more noise when tech investors are already on edge,” he told Business Insider. “This is a major shot across the bow. … They continue to ratchet up the heat in the kitchen especially with Huawei given the strategic importance of Huawei in China.”

Trade war escalation

China could hit back, he said, which could hurt leading tech names, including chipmakers Nvidia, Qualcomm and Intel.

In a note in December following the US indictment of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon said Huawei is “overall a sizeable buyer of semiconductors.” But he said the impact on major US chip-makers would be minimal.

Rasgon said the “supply chain could evolve” helping ease the impact of the Huawei ban on US chip companies.


“If the semi companies can’t sell to Huawei and thus Huawei can’t sell equipment, other companies would eventually take up Huawei’s slack, companies that the semis can sell to,” he said. “In other words, the Chinese equipment companies would likely lose share to other non-Chinese companies providing similar products, assuming broad demand for those products remains.”

But he added: “The transition would likely be messy though.”

The worst case scenario, Bajarin said, is if China hits back at Trump and “really hurts some major American company that sells a lot of products in China.”

A target on Apple’s back

It could be companies who sell PC’s, Servers and telecom equipment as a start,” he said. “But if it was true retaliation, it would be a major US company with a solid brand.”

Ives of Wedbush thinks the most vulnerable target would be Apple, perhaps the most well-known US tech brand.

“The broader worry here is: does this put more of a target on the back of Apple?” Ives said. “The poster child is Apple.”

Crawford Del Prete, president of research firm IDC, said he doesn’t think a Chinese reaction would impact other areas of tech immediately.

As for spreading to other areas, I do not see that as likely at this point,” he told Business Insider.

Meanwhile, Huawei faces a tougher situation as it is barred from doing business with US firms, he added.

“For Huawei, they will need to stay focused and on message that they are not a security risk, so that they can maintain business outside of the US,” he said.

Got a tip about Huawei, Apple or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @benpimentel, or send him a secure message through Signal at 510.731.8429. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: The 10 people transforming the way the technology industry does business

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