News & Analysis

US revokes chip licenses to Huawei

8th May 2024
Paige West

The US government has revoked licenses previously granted to major semiconductor companies, including Intel and Qualcomm, which allowed them to ship essential chipsets to Huawei Technologies.

This decision, impacting components typically used in laptops and handsets, marks a tightening of restrictions against the Chinese firm amid ongoing national security concerns.

The move was confirmed by three individuals familiar with the situation, with a fourth source revealing that some companies were informed of the immediate license revocation on Tuesday. The US Commerce Department, while verifying the revocations, did not disclose the names of the companies affected.

Huawei has been at the centre of a protracted security debate, leading to its placement on a US trade blacklist. This action prevented American firms from conducting business with Huawei without a special license. The recent decision to revoke these licenses further isolates Huawei from crucial US technology inputs, particularly in its computing products.

The timing of the revocation correlates with Huawei's release of its AI-enabled MateBook X Pro laptop, which utilises Intel's new Core Ultra 9 processor. This product launch had already drawn criticism from US policymakers, including Republican lawmakers who expressed concerns that it indicated a lax stance by the Commerce Department towards technology exports to Huawei.

The Commerce Department's action reflects broader US strategic objectives to curb what it perceives as technological and security risks posed by Chinese tech firms. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik emphasised the decision's alignment with national security goals, stating: "This action will bolster US national security, protect American ingenuity, and diminish Communist China’s ability to advance its technology." 




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