August 25, 2021
The U.S. has reportedly approved license applications for the embattled Chinese telecom company Huawei to purchase chips for its auto component business.
Citing two people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that the license applications the U.S. accepted are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The reported deal marks a significant victory for Huawei, whose business efforts have been stymied by strict restrictions imposed by both the Biden and Trump administrations.
The Trump administration enacted trade restrictions on the sale of chips and other parts used in its network technology and smartphones businesses, according to Reuters.
Additionally, the Biden administration has thus far reinforced a hard line on exports to Huawei, rejecting licenses to sell chips to the company to be used in or with 5G devices, the news wire noted.
In recent weeks and months, however, sources told Reuters that the U.S. has bestowed licenses allowing suppliers to sell chips to Huawei for various vehicle parts, including video screens and sensors.
The approved licenses are reportedly a result of Huawei gearing its business more toward items that are less vulnerable to U.S. trade bans.
One person close to the license approvals told Reuters that the government is approving licenses for chips in vehicles that potentially have other parts with 5G capability.
When asked about the licenses, a Department of Commerce spokesperson told Reuters that the government is still consistently applying licensing policies “to restrict Huawei’s access to commodities, software, or technology for activities that could harm U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.”
The spokesperson also said the department is not permitted to disclose license approvals or denials.
A Huawei spokeswoman told the news wire that it would not comment on the licenses, but added, “We are positioning ourselves as a new component provider for intelligent connected vehicles, and our aim is to help car OEMs [manufacturers] build better vehicles.”
Huawei declined to comment to The Hill.