US revokes licenses that allowed companies to sell chips to Huawei

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The US government has just made life more difficult for Huawei. The Biden administration revoked export licenses that allowed certain semiconductor companies to supply chips to the beleaguered Chinese conglomerate. This affects the supply of chipsets for its laptops and smartphones.

US revokes export licenses for supply of chips to Huawei

Huawei has been reduced to a shadow of itself after the Donald Trump-led US government placed it on the Entity List over national security reasons in 2019. This cut off its access to the latest smartphone technologies, including chipsets. The firm couldn’t use the latest technologies made in the US, effectively making its products outdated.

The US government subsequently allowed certain US companies to supply chips to Huawei, although with some restrictions. The likes of Intel and Qualcomm obtained special export licenses to do business with the Chinese company. However, just when Huawei was starting to rise from the ashes, the Biden administration has hit it where it hurts the most.

The US Department of Commerce confirmed to the Financial Times that it had “revoked certain licenses for exports to Huawei.” The department said, “We continuously assess how our controls can best protect our national security and foreign policy interests, taking into consideration a constantly changing threat environment and technological landscape. As part of this process, as we have done in the past, we sometimes revoke export licenses.”

One person familiar with the situation told the publication that the commerce department had notified the affected US companies. However, they could not provide any name. Qualcomm and Intel are among the companies with licenses to supply chips to Huawei. The US government may have revoked their licenses. The move may cripple Huawei’s smartphone and laptop businesses.

Despite being limited to China, the company was flourishing. It launched its first AI-enabled laptop last month. Huawei’s smartphone shipments also more than doubled to 13.1 million units in the first quarter. China’s growing self-sufficiency in smartphone tech, including chips, has come to its rescue, though it still relies on some foreign tech. It remains to be seen how this move affects its business.

Huawei has always denied the accusations

The US government put Huawei under trade restrictions over concerns that it may be helping the Chinese government in cyber espionage. However, the company has always denied the allegations. It appears the US doesn’t buy its claims of innocence. The latest move from the Biden administration shows it would do everything in its power to prevent Huawei from becoming a global tech powerhouse. Time will tell if Huawei can ever reach the same heights again.

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