Paul van Gerven
18 August 2020

The US Commerce Department on Monday expanded its curbs on Huawei by requiring a license for the sale of any chip developed or produced using US technology to the Chinese company. Since earlier restrictions, announced in May, already forced Huawei to stop production of its own chips, the telecom firm now seems to be cut off from advanced semiconductor technology entirely.

Huawei building
Credit: Huawei

The announcement apparently caught the US semiconductor industry by surprise. “We’re surprised and concerned by the administration’s sudden shift from its prior support of a more narrow approach intended to achieve stated national security goals while limiting harm to US companies. We reiterate our view that sales of non-sensitive, commercial products to China drive semiconductor research and innovation here in the US, which is critical to America’s economic strength and national security,” said John Neuffer, president en CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association in a statement. He warned that “these broad restrictions on commercial chip sales will bring significant disruption to the US semiconductor industry.”