Since the implementation of the American embargo on its products, Huawei has had great difficulty in staying afloat. Accused of espionage in 2019, the Chinese brand has since been in the sights of the United States and finds itself banned from trade with firms in the country. A situation that prompted her to sell her former Honor sub-brand.
If the manufacturer could no longer import network technologies, in particular 5G, it could still acquire certain crucial components for its smartphones. Thanks to a system of licenses granted by the American Department of Commerce, it could thus still obtain 4G chips from the founder Qualcomm, software from Windows and processors from Intel.
This tolerance has allowed it to release new models, admittedly confined to 4G, and to continue to occupy the field of telephony and the PC as best it can. The granting of these licenses was clear: these products had to be not directly or indirectly related to security or espionage concerns.
According to Reuters, the Biden administration has once again tightened the screw, purely and simply stopping issuing this type of license. A decision that would look very much like a coup de grace against the former world number 2 in mobile. According to the agency, but also the Financial Times et Bloombergthe US would deny the majority of export requests from Huawei.
This even more restrictive policy would thus target a large part of the components, and not only those linked to 5G. Reuters mentions 4G chips, but also wifi chips (6 and 7), AI or cloud-related technologies. These sanctions take place in a particularly tense geopolitical context between the two countries, against the backdrop of the semiconductor crisis.
The United States does not intend to go on a crusade alone and already has the support of allied countries. This is notably the case of the Netherlands and Japan. Strategic nations since they host ASML and Nikon, two companies specializing in lithographic systems, which have become key suppliers to chip manufacturers.
Mao Ning, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also stepped up to the plate following this decision, during a press conference in Beijing. According to him, the American administration would abuse the notion of national security to attack Chinese companies. “[Cette décision] goes against the principles of the market economy and the rules of international trade and finance, undermines the confidence that the international community has in the American commercial environment and constitutes a blatant technological hegemony. We imagine, however, that the United States will remain deaf to these criticisms, since China is also often accused of using “market economy” when it suits him.
Still, these decisions could have a detrimental effect on the financial health of the company with red petals. It is not for nothing that it has diversified over the past two years, turning to the infrastructure market and the sale of its expertise.
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