US revokes licences for sales of chips to Huawei

The US sharply limited exports of items such as computer chips to Huawei starting in 2019.

The US government says it has revoked some licences that allowed US chip makers to export certain goods to Chinese technology giant Huawei.

The Department of Commerce did not specify which permits were cancelled but the move follows Huawei’s release of an AI-enabled computer powered by a chip created by Intel.

US-based chip maker Intel declined to comment to a request for comment from BBC News. The BBC has also contacted Huawei and chip giant Qualcomm for responses to the announcement.

Since 2019, the US has restricted technology exports, such as computer chips, to Huawei, citing alleged ties to the Chinese military.

“We have revoked certain licenses for exports to Huawei,” the Commerce Department said in a statement on Tuesday, but did not give details of which permits had been withdrawn.

Some US lawmakers had criticised the administration of President Joe Biden following the launch last month of Huawei’s MateBook X Pro laptop.

“Make no mistake, the Biden Administration would not have taken this action if Republicans in Congress were not holding them accountable,” said Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik in a social media post.

Huawei has been hit hard by US trade restrictions but more recently appeared to mount a comeback.

The Chinese company has enjoyed a resurgence particularly after the launch of the Mate 60 Pro smartphone in August.

In 2019, during the presidency of Donald Trump, US officials added Huawei to a so-called “entity list.”

It means that US companies need to obtain a licence from the government to export or transfer some technologies, especially over concerns that they will be used by the Chinese military.

However, in that time licences have been granted to some US companies, including Intel and Qualcomm, to supply Huawei with technology that was not related to 5G.

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