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Trump admin delivers another blow to HUAWEI before leaving office
- The US has reportedly revoked a bunch of licenses granted to companies to do business with HUAWEI.
- Hundreds of license requests have also been denied.
- $280 billion worth of license applications are yet to be processed.
Delivering a parting blow to HUAWEI, the Trump administration has reportedly informed chipmaker Intel and other suppliers that it is revoking previously granted licenses and intends to reject dozens other that seek to sell tech to the Chinese company.
According to an email seen by Reuters, the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Friday that the Commerce Department had issued “intents to deny a significant number of license requests for exports to HUAWEI and a revocation of at least one previously issued license.” However, sources told the wire that at least eight existing licenses were repealed from four companies.
The email further noted that the US government’s actions span a “broad range” of products in the semiconductor industry. Some licenses were apparently awaited for “many months” and are only being denied now, just days before President Trump leaves office.
Kioxia Corp, a Japanese flash memory chip maker, has had at least one license annulled.
The Commerce Department didn’t acknowledge the development directly but told Reuters that it continues to work with agencies to “consistently” apply licensing rules that protect “US national security and foreign policy interests.”
HUAWEI and Intel declined to comment.
A license to kill HUAWEI
Before the latest sanction, 150 licenses were said to be pending for $120 billion worth of goods and technology. Of these, a vast majority have reportedly been denied, while the eight others were revoked to maintain consistency with the licensing rules.
A source confirmed to Reuters that another $280 billion worth of license applications for HUAWEI have still not been processed.
HUAWEI suppliers that have received the intent to deny notices reportedly have 20 days to respond. The Department of Commerce has 45 days to issue any changes to the decision, or the denials become final. Companies will have another 45 days to appeal the final decision.
Meanwhile, HUAWEI has ramped up efforts to plug the gap in its semiconductor supply chain. According to a recent Nikkei Asia report, the company is talking to several Chinese chip makers for possible investments.
In fact, it has already acquired stakes in 20 semiconductor-related companies covering the supply of things like chip design tools, and other materials for chip production as well as testing. The ultimate goal seems to be in-house chip production but it may be a while before HUAWEI can have that up and running.