Back in 2019, Huawei was accused of using its products to spy on other countries on behalf of the Chinese government by the United States (U.S). Former U.S. president, Donald Trump then placed Huawei and its subsidiaries into the Entity List, barring them from doing business with U.S.-based companies.
But later, the U.S. government allowed companies who wish to work with Huawei to apply for a licence and it granted the licence to Sony, Samsung and Qualcomm. Google tried to apply for the licence as well, but they didn’t get it. These companies were allowed to sell certain tech and hardware to Huawei.
But they are not allow to sell 5G tech, which is why until today, all Huawei devices only come in 4G despite using Qualcomm’s flagship CPU such as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in their Mate 50 series.
Huawei still managed to survive this situation and make do with what they have, but this news might spell the end for the company.
Tom’s Hardware reports that the U.S. government is planning to halt the issuance of export licenses to companies dealing with Huawei and its subsidiaries based in China, cutting off their access to American technologies.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has recently informed these companies that it will no longer grant licences for exporting American technology to Huawei.
The head of BIS, Alan Estevez, is reviewing China-related export policies to determine the next steps for the U.S. government. In October 2022, the U.S. imposed sanctions on China’s semiconductor and supercomputer sectors, which will slow down the country’s technological and economic growth.
The U.S. government has also imposed restrictions on the export of wafer fab equipment to China, working with Japan and the Netherlands to limit exports by companies such as ASML, Canon, Nikon, and Tokyo Electron. This is expected to push China to speed up the development of its own wafer fabrication technology, but this will be difficult without technologies from the U.S.
But according to rumours, Huawei is ready to manufacture its own chips again. Before the sanctions, the company made its own chips dubbed “Kirin”, which was made by HiSilicon. But they were unable to do so anymore because TSMC was not allowed to work with Huawei.
The company is manufacturing chips based on the old 12 nm and 14 nm process because they don’t have access to the advanced technologies needed to make more advanced chips.
The chips might not make it into Huawei’s smartphones anytime soon, but it can be used for smartwatches and other IoT devices.