US Terminates Export Licenses Of Suppliers To China’s Huawei

Reports reaching the desk of Africa Today News, New York has it that the government of the United States has revoked several licenses that allow companies to ship goods, such as chips, to sanctioned Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, certain businesses received notice on Tuesday that their licences were cancelled with immediate effect.

The action follows the launch of Huawei’s first AI-enabled laptop, the MateBook X Pro, which is equipped with Intel’s recently announced Core Ultra 9 processor, last month.

Republican senators criticised the laptop launch, claiming it implied that Intel had been granted the go-ahead to sell the chip to Huawei by the US Department of Commerce.

“We have revoked certain licenses for exports to Huawei,” the Commerce Department said in a statement, declining to specify which ones it had withdrawn.

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The move, first reported by Reuters, comes after concerted pressure by Republican China hawks in Congress who have been urging the Biden administration to take tougher action to thwart Huawei.

“This action will bolster US national security, protect American ingenuity, and diminish Communist China’s ability to advance its technology,” Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement.

Depending on which licenses were revoked, the move could also hurt Huawei which still relies on Intel chips to power its laptops, and could hurt US suppliers that do business with the company.

A spokesperson for Intel declined to comment.

Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei was placed on a US trade restriction list in 2019 amid fears it could spy on Americans, part of a broader effort to handicap China’s ability to bolster its military. Being added to the list means the company’s suppliers have to seek a special, difficult-to-obtain license before shipping.

Even so, suppliers to Huawei have received licenses worth billions of dollars to sell Huawei goods and technology, including one particularly controversial authorization, issued by the administration of former President Donald Trump, which has allowed Intel to ship central processors to Huawei for use in its laptops since 2020.

Qualcomm has sold older 4G chips to handsets since receiving a license from US officials in 2020. In a regulatory filing earlier this month, Qualcomm said it did not expect to receive more chip revenue from Huawei beyond this year.

However, Qualcomm still licenses its portfolio of 5G technologies to Huawei, which last year began using a 5G chip designed by its HiSilicon unit that most analysts believe is manufactured in violation of US sanctions. Qualcomm said in the filing this month that its patent deal with Huawei expires early in Qualcomm’s fiscal 2025 and that it has started negotiations to renew the deal.

The phone helped Huawei smartphone sales spike 64 percent year on year in the first six weeks of 2024, according to research firm Counterpoint. Its smart car component business has also contributed to Huawei’s resurgence, with the company notching its fastest revenue growth in four years in 2023.

Africa Today News, New York

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