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President Donald Trump’s administration is taking what will likely be its final stab at weakening Huawei by revoking the licenses of companies that supply materials to the Chinese tech giant, according to a new report from Reuters.
Companies including Intel and the Japanese chip maker Kioxia were informed that they would no longer be able to sell to Huawei, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The administration plans to revoke several dozen more such licenses, Reuters said.
The Trump administration has long considered Huawei’s dominance in the telecommunications world to be a threat to national security.
In May 2019, Trump declared a national emergency over the company’s increasing encroachment on the US market.
As a result, the company was put on an “entity list,” which meant that US companies could not sell or transfer technology to Huawei without a license issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List.
In a statement to CNBC at the time, Huawei said: “Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers.”
The Trump campaign has continued its attacks on Huawei, with the president telling “Fox and Friends”in August 2020: “We don’t want their equipment in the United States because they spy on us. And any country that uses it, we’re not going to do anything in terms of sharing intelligence.”
“Huawei? I call them Spy-Wei. They’re a disaster,” Trump continued.
On August 17, the Commerce Department announced that the administration had further restricted tech companies from selling technologies made in the US to Huawei — or any of its affiliates — without acquiring a special license.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the time that the move was made to prevent Huawei from using US technology to “fulfill the objectives of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“As we have restricted its access to US technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness US technology in a manner that undermines US national security and foreign policy interests,” he continued.
The restriction prevented Huawei from accessing chips it designed but that were manufactured by other companies.
The UK agreed to allow Huawei to help build its 5G system in 2019, but reversed course in July 2020 over security concerns about China. The British government banned the purchase of new Huawei 5G equipment after December 31, 2020, and vowed to remove all Huawei equipment from 5G networks by the end of 2027.
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