Ampleon recently laid off 24 engineers from their Nijmegen facility in the Netherlands. The Company provided a statement that read: “After years of steady growth in 5G and adjacent markets, Ampleon has had to take dedicated measures in 2020 to safeguard its business continuity after one of its major customers was impacted by geopolitical measures.” This customer has been found out to be Huawei, the Chinese smartphone and network gear manufacturer.
Huawei has been blacklisted in the United States. Since last year even non-US companies need permission to supply to Huawei - unless they don't employ any technology of American origin in the manufacturing process. Companies like ASML have been impacted by these measures too.
Ampleon is the spinout of NXP’s RF Power Division which was acquired by Chinese-state controlled investment company Jianguang Asset Management in 2015. Ampleon said it planned to invest in R&D and its engineering capacity after the spinout and they grew from 1,250 employees in 2015 worldwide to the current 1,650, spread across sixteen locations.
The 24 positions in Nijmegen across all departments were made redundant last December in close consultation with the works council and by applying the existing social plan. Even one of the technicians who left Ampleon said that he had no reason to complain.
As engineers in the Semicon industry are hard to get by, the layoffs were met with shocked reactions in the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen as now people looking for a challenging job most probably didn’t need to look very far. Sumitomo Electric and Mini-Circuits have also recently established branches at the NTC (SEEL Netherlands Lab). There is also talks of a third RF systems specialist planning a location in Nijmegen.
In their statement, Ampleon also said: ”Going forward, Ampleon continues to be a leading global partner in RF power and remains fully committed to developing and offering a wide product and technology portfolio to its entire customer base.”