U.S. Bans Exports of Most Items to China’s Huawei

The United States has stopped approving licenses for most items that U.S. companies export to China’s Huawei. The Chinese telecoms company has faced export restriction from the U.S. regarding items for 5G and other technologies for several years, but the U.S. Commerce Department allowed exports of some firms for certain goods and technologies. As an example, Qualcomm received permission in 2020 to sell 4G smartphone chips to Huawei.

China’s foreign ministry called the U.S. move an abuse of “overly broad notion of national security to suppress Chinese firms unreasonably.”

The move “goes against the principles of the market economy and rules of international trade and finance, hurts the confidence the international community has in the U.S business environment and is blatant technological hegemony,” Chinese foreign ministry said.

U.S. officials are also preparing a new formal policy to deny shipments to Huawei that would include 4G items, Wifi 6 and 7, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing and cloud items.

The move is seen as a reflection of Biden administration’s tightening of policy on Huawei over the past year. Licenses for 4G chips that could not be used for 5G, which might have been approved earlier, were being denied. Toward the end of the Trump administration and early in the Biden administration, officials had still granted licenses for items specific to 4G applications.

American officials placed Huawei on a trade blacklist in 2019 restricting most U.S. suppliers from shipping goods and technology to the company unless they were granted licenses. Officials continued to tighten the controls to cut off Huawei’s ability to buy or design the semiconductor chips that power most of its products.

But some U.S. suppliers were granted licenses to send Huawei some products. Suppliers to Huawei got licenses worth $61 billion from April through November 2021.

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