Donald Trump’s campaign against Huawei has seemingly continued into his administration’s final days. Reports suggest licences that allow US companies to work with the Chinese vendor have been revoked, while pending applications have been denied.
Reuters says it has seen an email from the Semiconductor Industry Association in which members have been asked if they have received notices on decisions.
The agency’s sources suggest that as many as eight licences had been withdrawn while it is understood that there are 150 applications in progress.
Huawei has been on the US ‘non-entity’ list since 2019, a status that prevents US companies from doing business with it without a licence. This has limited its access to key technologies such as Google applications and US-manufactured components.
Washington has since closed what it believed to be a “technical loophole” that allowed chipmakers to ensure their components are not classified as ‘US-made’, despite including American technologies, if manufactured abroad.
Several companies had received licences to bypass these restrictions – including Intel. However, the latest guidance given to decision makers is that any technology that could be used for 5G should not be covered by any licence. This, it is said, has led to the denials and revocations.
Huawei has said the sanctions threaten the future of its smartphone business and have ended any ambition of being the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer. It is refocusing on the high-end segment of the market and has sold its Honor subsidiary – in part so it can escape the impact of US sanctions.