Intel now has licenses from U.S. authorities to continue providing some of its products to Huawei Technologies. This announcement was made by an Intel spokesman on Tuesday. U.S-China ties are at their worst for the first time in decades.
Washington has been pushing governments the world over to push out Huawei. They argue that the telecom giant is a security risk that puts user data in Beijing’s hands for espionage purposes. As of September 15, the new curbs ensure that U.S. companies do not supply or service Huawei.
Non-U.S. firms are out of luck
China Securities Journal confirmed this week that Intel has permission to supply Huawei with what they need. Which is a good thing, because without chip supplies the future of Huawei was at stake.
Last week, China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) confirmed that they have also asked for permission to continue doing business with Huawei. SMIC uses U.S.-made equipment to make chips for many companies, including Huawei. The South Korean-based SK Hynix has also applied for a U.S. license for Huawei sales. However, they have not yet gained approval.
According to some unnamed sources, non-U.S. firms will have a much harder time getting U.S. approval, forcing chipmakers to develop alternative plans to increase supplies to their other customers.
Akin to the Cold War
In August, the Taiwan-based designer MediaTek said they had applied to the U.S. government to continue supplying Huawei.
Huawei was founded in 1987 by an engineer who used to work for China’s People’s Liberation Army. The company denies that they are spying for China and say that the U.S. is trying to smear it because Western firms are not doing very well in the 5G sector.
Some observers have called this a Cold War-esque race. The United States is worried that 5G dominance will give China an advantage that Washington is not comfortable accepting.