U.S. tightens restrictions on Huawei access to chips, Android updates

The U.S. Commerce Department will make it even more difficult for Huawei to access tech products and software produced and created by U.S. tech companies.

According to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Huawei and another 38 affiliates of the company have been added to the Entity List, which imposes restrictions on licensing agreements and hardware exports. The new rules not only makes it harder for Huawei to obtain chips for its devices and Android updates through Google, but ends the Temporary General License (TGL) extended to the company in early 2019.

The increased sanctions on Huawei have put a strain on the company, causing a shortage of necessary processor chips, according to the Associated Press.  Without a lift in sanctions, the company will be unable to produce its own Kirin chipsets.

The addition of the newly banned Huawei affiliates brings the total number of blacklisted Huawei affiliates to 152, and will include computing offices in Chile, Morocco, South Africa, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Berlin, Cairo, Bangkok, Istanbul, Dubai, and Beijing.

“Huawei and its foreign affiliates have extended their efforts to obtain advanced semiconductors developed or produced from U.S. software and technology in order to fulfill the policy objectives of the Chinese Communist Party. As we have restricted its access to U.S. technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness U.S. technology in a manner that undermines U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. This multipronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei’s ability to do so,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement on Monday.

This isn’t the Trump administration’s first time placing pressure on China’s tech industry. While the recent extension on the ban of Bytedance has given TikTok an extra 60 days to fight President Donald Trump’s executive order, the new ban on affiliates only lessens Huawei’s chances of success.

Huawei’s trouble with tech acquisition first appeared in 2019, when the Trump administration banned U.S. companies from selling to Huawei without government permission. With the ban firmly in place until 2021 and new export rules choking any back doorways for Huawei to receive aid, the company is facing hard times ahead.

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