The Trump administration announced on Monday it will further tighten restrictions on Huawei Technologies, aimed at cracking down on the Chinese telecommunications giant access to commercially available chips.
The Commerce Department actions, first reported by Reuters, will expand restrictions announced in May aimed at preventing Huawei from obtaining semiconductors without a special license — including chips made by foreign firms that have been developed or produced with U.S. software or technology
In a statement Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Commerce Department added 38 Huawei affiliates to the U.S. government’s economic blacklist. That raises the total to 152 affiliates since Huawei was first added in May 2019.
“The Trump Administration sees Huawei for what it is — an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) surveillance state — and we have taken action accordingly,” Pompeo said in the statement. “We will not tolerate efforts by the CCP to undermine the privacy of our citizens, our businesses’ intellectual property, or the integrity of next-generation networks worldwide.”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business the restrictions on Huawei-designed chips imposed in May “led them to do some evasive measures. They were going through third parties,” Ross said. “The new rule makes it clear that any use of American software or American fabrication equipment is banned and requires a license.”
Pompeo said the rule change “will prevent Huawei from circumventing U.S. law through alternative chip production and provision of off-the-shelf chips.” He added: “Huawei has continuously tried to evade” U.S. restrictions.
“Expect much more of this president defending this country against China[‘s] efforts to steal our wealth and prosperity,” White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said in an interview Monday
On Aug. 8, financial magazine Caixin reported Huawei will stop making its flagship Kirin chipsets next month due to U.S. pressure on suppliers.
Huawei’s HiSilicon division has relied on software from U.S. companies such as Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys to design its chips and outsourced the production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which uses equipment from U.S. companies.
TSMC has said it will not ship wafers to Huawei after Sept. 15.