Huawei is a $120 billion company with 200,000 employees and the unlimited backing of the Chinese state. It will survive.
The U.S. President and Secretary of State are attacking with everything short of actual bombing raids. Huawei sales went up this year despite the blockade. But sales will be affected by cutting off chips from TSMC, the only practical source for the 5 nm and 7 nm chips essential for the best cell phones.
It has stockpiled enough chips to last past the U.S. election into 2021 and maybe longer. Nikkei in May reported Huawei has two years’ worth of some chips in inventory, such as Intel CPUs. The U.S. can’t win the tech war against China without prohibitive losses, but no one in D.C. will admit that before the election.
Half of Huawei’s sales are phones, many of which require chips only possible from TSMC or Samsung.
Donald Trump will make almost any compromise to win reelection. It’s possible but not likely that he will end the blockade in return for China buying U.S. crops.
TSMC also has some leverage. Trump wants TSMC to go ahead with a $12B plant in Arizona. He trails in the state after winning it in 2016. Although the NY Times reported a done deal, TSMC has made clear it will not go forward without $billions in government giveaways. TSMC has applied for an exemption from the blockade, but will probably concentrate on a bigger subsidy.
I see four plausible scenarios: