Jan 30 (Reuters) – The Biden administration has stopped approving licenses allowing 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 U.S. Commerce Department officials have granted licenses to some U.S. companies to sell certain goods and technologies to the U.S. ‘business. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) received approval in 2020 to sell 4G smartphone chips to Huawei.
A Commerce Department spokesperson said officials “continually evaluate our policies and regulations” but do not comment on discussions with specific companies. Huawei and Qualcomm declined to comment. Bloomberg and the Financial Times previously announced the move.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said China opposes the United States abusing too broad a notion of national security to unreasonably suppress Chinese companies.
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This decision “goes against the principles of the market economy and the rules of international trade and finance, undermines the confidence that the international community has in the American commercial environment and constitutes a flagrant technological hegemony” , Mao said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
A person familiar with the matter said U.S. officials are creating a new formal denial policy for shipping items to Huawei that would include items below the 5G level, including 4G items, Wifi 6 and 7, intelligence artificial intelligence, high performance computing and the cloud. elements.
Another person said the move must reflect the Biden administration’s tightening policy toward Huawei over the past year. Licenses for 4G chips that could not be used for 5g, which could have been approved earlier, were denied, the person said. Towards the end of the Trump administration and the beginning of the Biden administration, officials had still licensed items specific to 4G applications.
US officials placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in 2019, blocking most US suppliers from shipping goods and technology to the company unless they obtained licenses. Officials have continued to tighten controls to prevent Huawei from buying or designing the semiconductor chips that power most of its products.
But US officials issued licenses that allowed Huawei to receive certain products. For example, Huawei suppliers secured licenses worth $61 billion to sell to the telecom equipment giant from April to November 2021.
In December, Huawei said its overall revenue was about $91.53 billion, down slightly from 2021, when U.S. sanctions slumped sales 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
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