Report: Huawei is dodging US chip-making

Paul van Gerven
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Working to establish its own semiconductor manufacturing operations, Huawei is evading US sanctions, Bloomberg reports based on information from the Semiconductor Industry Alliance (SIA). Backed with 30 billion dollars in state aid, the Chinese telecom firm is said to be involved in the acquisition or construction of at least five fabs without disclosing its involvement.

Credit: Huawei

The US export restrictions issued in October, which were joined by the Netherlands and Japan, prevent all Chinese companies from purchasing equipment used for manufacturing advanced semiconductors, ie all sub-28nm nodes. Additionally, blacklisted companies like Huawei need licenses to acquire any kind of US semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which are unlikely to be granted. Therefore, if Huawei desires access to US equipment, it needs to work through intermediaries with which the company has no official ties.

The SIA is downplaying the report. “The story focused on a set of widely reported developments mentioned in an SIA summary of commercial market trends for its members. Summarizing such trends from publicly available information is a routine trade association activity,” the organization wrote in a statement released shortly after the report’s publication.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security told Bloomberg that it’s monitoring the situation and is ready to take action if necessary.

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