The US is allowing tech companies to resume supplying certain components to Huawei, according to media reports. Unnamed Asian chip companies shared with the Financial Times that the US Commerce Department will grant licenses to supply Huawei as long as they are not intended for 5G networking purposes. “It has been indicated to us that chips for mobile devices are not a problem,” one of them told the FT.
Both the business newspaper and Reuters report that Samsung has received licenses to sell display panels to Huawei. It is unclear, however, if shipments from South Korea can resume, because Samsung’s suppliers would also have to obtain licenses.
The US put Huawei on a so-called ‘Entity List’ last year, imposing a licensing regime on US companies for supplying the telecom giant. In August, sanctions were extended to include all companies dealing with American technology, effectively cutting off Huawei from all advanced technological components.
The US semiconductor industry protested the restrictions. “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, CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association. He warned that “these broad restrictions on commercial chip sales will bring significant disruption to the US semiconductor industry.”