The United States on Friday has granted Qualcomm a license to sell 4G chips to Huawei. Trade with the Chinese company is still officially prohibited.
A Qualcomm spokesperson told Reuters that the company has been licensed to sell a number of products, including 4G equipment. Exactly which products these are, the spokesperson declined to share. She did, however, tell that they were related to mobile devices. The company also has a number of other license requests pending with the U.S. government.
The licenses probably won’t have much impact. Huawei generally uses its own chip designs. Besides, the tech industry is currently in the middle of the transition from 4G to 5G, so 4G chips are quickly becoming less relevant. Whether Qualcomm will also receive a license sell 5G equipment to Huawei in the future is not clear.
In May 2019, the United States government decided to restrict companies from trading with Huawei. The Americans suspected that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s equipment for espionage. Trade partners now need a license to continue doing business with Huawei.
At the end of October, rumours emerged that the U.S. is considering relaxing its trade restrictions with Huawei. None of this has yet materialized.