C114 (Reuters) – The Trump administration has notified Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, that it will withdraw their permission to sell to the Chinese company, people familiar with the matter said. of certain licenses and intends to reject dozens of other applications to supply Huawei.
Reuters said it could be the last action against Huawei under U.S. Republican President Donald Trump and the latest in a long-running effort to undercut the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.
The notices came amid a flurry of U.S. actions against China in the final days before the Trump administration’s curtain call. Democrat Joe Biden will be sworn in as U.S. president on Wednesday.
An Intel spokesman had no immediate comment, and a Commerce Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In an email documenting the actions seen by Reuters, the U.S. semiconductor Industry Association said on Friday that the Commerce Department “intentionally rejects numerous license applications for exports to Huawei and withdraws at least one previous license application. License issued”. A person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named, said more than one license was to be revoked. Eight licenses from the four companies will be revoked, one of the sources said.
Japanese flash memory chip maker Kioxia has had at least one license revoked, two sources said. The company’s predecessor was Toshiba Storage Corporation.
The American Semiconductor Industry Association said in an email that the actions involved a “wide range” of products in the semiconductor industry and asked if the companies involved had been notified.
The email noted that companies had been waiting “months” for a licensing decision, and that with less than a week left in the Trump administration, how to deal with a “denial” was a challenge.
Companies that receive notices of “Intent to Deny” will have 20 days to respond, while the Commerce Department has 45 days to notify those companies of any changes in the decision, or the decision will become final. The companies will then have 45 days to appeal.
In May 2019, the U.S. placed Huawei on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “entity list,” restricting suppliers from selling U.S. products and technology to the company.
But while the U.S. has tightened restrictions on Huawei, some sales to Huawei have been allowed and others have been denied, including a requirement that sales of semiconductors manufactured abroad using U.S. technology must be approved by the U.S. government. license.
The latest U.S. move comes after about 150 licenses to sell goods and technology worth $120 billion had not been approved, a person familiar with the matter said, as U.S. agencies failed to agree on whether the licenses should be authorized. Permissions have been on hold.
Another $280 billion in licenses to sell goods and technology to Huawei have yet to be processed, but now face a higher chance of being rejected, the sources said.
A rule last August said 5G-capable products could be rejected, but sales of less advanced technology would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
The U.S. government’s latest decision follows six meetings between senior officials from the Commerce, State, Defense and Energy departments, starting on January 4, the sources said. Officials developed detailed guidance on which technologies would support 5G and then adopted the standard, the person said.
In doing so, officials rejected the vast majority of about 150 contested applications and revoked eight licenses, the sources said.
The U.S. action came under pressure from Corey Stewart, Trump’s recently appointed Commerce Department official. Corey Stewart spent two months at the U.S. Commerce Department before the end of the Trump administration, where he wants to pursue a tough China policy.