The Trump administration has informed Huawei suppliers, including US-based chipmaker Intel, that it is revoking some licenses for sale to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other apps for provide the telecommunications company, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. agency.
The action – possibly the latest against Huawei Technologies under Republican President Donald Trump – is the latest in a long-standing effort to weaken the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which Washington sees as a security threat national.
The advisories came amid a wave of US efforts against China in the final days of the Trump administration. Democrat Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on Wednesday.
An Intel Corp spokesperson declined to comment. The Commerce Department said it could not comment on specific licensing decisions, but said the department continued to work with other agencies to “systematically” enforce licensing policies in a way that “protects the law. US national security and foreign policy interests ”.
In an email seen by Reuters documenting the actions, the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Friday that the Commerce Department had “intended to deny a significant number of applications for export licenses to Huawei and to revoke at least one previously issued license “. Sources familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there had been more than one dismissal. One of the sources said eight licenses had been withdrawn from four companies.
A “ wide range ” of products
Japanese flash memory chip maker Kioxia Corp has seen at least one license revoked, according to two of the sources. The company, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corp, said it does not “disclose business details for specific products or customers.”
The Semiconductor Association email said the actions covered a “wide range” of products in the semiconductor industry and asked the companies if they had received any notifications.
The email noted that companies waited “several months” for licensing decisions and with less than a week left in administration, dealing with denials was a challenge.
A spokesperson for the semiconductor group did not respond to a request for comment.
Businesses that have received “intent to refuse” notices have 20 days to respond, and the Commerce Department has 45 days to notify them of any change in a decision or it becomes final. Companies would then have 45 additional days to appeal.
Intensification of repression
The United States put Huawei on a Commerce Department “entity list” in May 2019, preventing suppliers from selling it US products and technologies.
But some sales were allowed and others denied as the government stepped up its crackdown on the company, in part by expanding U.S. authority to require licenses for sales of semiconductors made abroad with the American technology.
Before the latest action, some 150 licenses were pending for $ 120 billion worth of goods and technology, which had been delayed because various US agencies could not agree on whether they should be granted, said someone familiar with the matter.
An additional $ 280 billion in license applications for goods and technologies for Huawei has yet to be processed, the source said, but is now more likely to be denied.
An August rule said products with 5G capabilities would likely be rejected, but sales of less sophisticated technologies would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
The last denials
The United States made the final decisions in half a dozen meetings starting Jan.4 with senior officials from the departments of commerce, state, defense and energy, the source said. . Officials developed detailed guidance on technologies capable of 5G and then applied that standard, the person added.
That involved denying the vast majority of the roughly 150 disputed apps and revoking all eight licenses to make them compatible with the latest denials, the source said.
The US action came after pressure from a recent Trump-appointed Commerce Department member, Corey Stewart, who wanted to push through sweeping Chinese policies after being hired for a two-month stint at the agency at the end of administration.
Trump has targeted Huawei in other ways. Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, was arrested in Canada in December 2018, on a US arrest warrant. Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, and the company itself have been charged with misleading banks about its activities in Iran.
Meng said she was innocent. Huawei has denied the espionage allegations and has pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which also includes charges of violating US sanctions against Iran and conspiring to steal trade secrets from US tech companies .