The US Commerce Department has brought another step toward cutting away Chinese telco Huawei from the abroad companies that make its semiconductors. A good amended export rule would obstruct shipments of semiconductors to Huawei to “strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology,” the agency announced on Friday.
The rule prevents foreign producers of semiconductors who use United states software and technology in their functions from shipping their products to Huawei unless they get a license through the US. That license requirement can allow the Commerce Department to obstruct the sale of semiconductors made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) intended for Huawei’s HiSilicon unit, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The rule will allow chips within production to be shipped to Huawei, provided the shipment is completed inside 120 days from today.
The Trump management placed Huawei and 114 from the affiliates on its Entity Listing in May 2019, which meant US companies were unable to sell technology to the corporation without government approval. The US also offers accused Huawei of building backdoors into network infrastructure, evidently to aid Chinese government spying attempts. Huawei has repeatedly denied the particular Trump administration’s accusations of spying.
“Despite the Entity List actions the Department took last year, Huawei and its foreign affiliates have stepped-up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions through an indigenization effort,” Secretary of Business Wilbur Ross said in a declaration on Friday. “We must amend our rules exploited by Huawei and HiSilicon and prevent US technologies from enabling malign activities contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests.”
Google suspended Huawei’s Android license final May to comply with the US limitations. But the UK decided it would continue to allow Huawei to provide equipment for its 5G infrastructure, a lot of which was already under construction once the US announced its restrictions.
Despite the limitations in the US, Huawei kept its No. 2 spot among smartphone makers for 2019, with product sales for the year second only to Samsung. And TSMC just announced plans to build a new nick manufacturing plant in Arizona.
Also Friday, the Commerce Department extended a temporary license that will allow US companies that are working wireless networks in rural areas of the US to continue doing business with Huawei by means of August 13th. This license had been due to expire on Friday, as well as the Commerce Department said there would be simply no further extensions.