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 U.S. export restrictions on items for 5G and other technologies for several years, but officials at the U.S. Department of Commerce have granted licenses for some U.S. companies to sell certain goods and technologies to the company. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) in 2020 received permission to sell 4G mobile phone chips to Huawei.
A Commerce Department spokeswoman said officials “continue to evaluate our policies and regulations,” but would not comment on talks 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 China opposes the United States abusing an overly broad notion of national security to suppress Chinese companies unreasonably.
The move “goes against the principles of the market economy and rules of international trade and finance, hurts the trust of the international community in the US business environment and is an obvious technological hegemony,” Mao said during a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
One person familiar with the matter said US officials are creating a new formal denial policy for shipping items to Huawei that would include items below the 5G level, including 4G items, Wi-Fi 6 and 7, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing and cloud. items
Another person said the move is expected to reflect the Biden administration’s tightening policy on Huawei over the past year. Licenses for 4G chips that could not be used for 5g that may have been approved earlier were denied, the person said. At the end of the Trump administration and early in the Biden administration, officials were still issuing licenses for items specific to 4G applications.
US officials placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in 2019, restricting most US suppliers from shipping goods and technology to the company unless they were granted licenses. Officials continued to tighten controls to cut 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 suppliers received licenses worth $61 billion to sell to the telecommunications equipment giant from April to November 2021.
In December, Huawei said its total revenue was about $91.53 billion, only slightly less than in 2021 when US sanctions caused its sales to drop by nearly a third.
Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco, Alexandra Alper and Karen Freifeld in Washington, and Yew Lun Tian in Beijing; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Stephen Coates and Louise Heavens
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters’ Trust Principles.