Jan. 30 (Reuters) – The Biden administration has stopped approving licenses for U.S. companies to export most items to China’s Huawei, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Huawei has faced US export restrictions on 5G items and other technologies for several years, but officials in the US Commerce Department have granted licenses to some US companies to sell certain goods and technologies to the company. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) in 2020 received permission to sell 4G smartphone chips to Huawei.
A Commerce Department spokesperson said officials “constantly evaluate our policies and regulations” but do not comment on conversations with specific companies. Huawei and Qualcomm declined to comment. Bloomberg and the Financial Times earlier reported the move.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said that China opposes the United States’ misuse of an overly broad concept of national security to unreasonably suppress Chinese enterprises.
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Mao said during a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday that the move “contradicts the principles of the market economy and the rules of international trade and finance, harms the international community’s confidence in the US business environment, and is a blatant technological hegemony.”
U.S. officials are creating a new official policy for refusing to ship items to Huawei that will include items below the 5G level, including 4G, Wifi 6 and 7, AI, high-performance computing, and cloud items, said a person familiar with the matter. Elements.
Another person said the move is expected to reflect the Biden administration’s tightening of policy toward Huawei over the past year. The person said licenses for 4G chips that cannot be used for 5G, which may have been approved earlier, have been denied. Towards the end of the Trump administration and early in the Biden administration, officials were still licensing items for 4G applications.
US officials placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in 2019, which restricts most US suppliers from shipping goods and technology to the company unless they are granted licenses. Officials have continued to tighten controls to cut off Huawei’s ability to buy or design the semiconductor chips that power most of its products.
But US officials granted licenses that allowed Huawei to receive some products. For example, Huawei’s suppliers secured $61 billion worth of licenses to sell to the telecom equipment giant from April through November 2021.
In December, Huawei said its total revenue was about $91.53 billion, down only slightly from 2021 when US sanctions caused its sales to drop by about a third.
Additional reporting by Shafi Mehta in Bengaluru, Stephen Nelis in San Francisco, Alexandra Alper and Karen Frefeld in Washington, and Yu Lun Tian in Beijing; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen. Editing by Shailesh Cooper, Stephen Coates and Louise Heavens
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