U.S. tech firms continue sales to Huawei despite Trump administration ban

Despite a ban on American sales to Chinese telecom networking giant Huawei imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department, American chipmakers have continued doing business with the company, according to a report by The New York Times. Intel, Micron, and other American-based companies have quietly circumvented a ban on sales to the Chinese firm, enacted in May, and anonymous sources told the newspaper that sales totaling an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars started back up three weeks ago with components that were manufactured outside the U.S.

Whether this violates the spirit, as opposed to the letter, of the law may still be an open question, but there’s no doubt that such actions help keep the Chinese company afloat. Huawei estimates it spends $11 billion per year with U.S. technology companies.

In May, the Commerce Department put Huawei on an “entity list” but allowed American companies to continue to sell tech to the company for current products until mid-August, while placing a ban on components for future products. The move prevents companies on the entity list from buying U.S. technology and components without a waiver from the U.S. government. This threatens the survival of companies like Huawei because they rely heavily on American chips and other technology for their electronic products. Right now, it’s unclear whether or how much of the current sales will go to future products.

Micron’s CEO Sanjay Mehrotra confirmed in an earnings call Tuesday that the company had immediately halted its business with Huawei in response to the Commerce Department’s ban, but that it resumed sales of certain products about two weeks ago after the company reviewed the entity list rules.

John Neuffer, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, stated the following on Friday: “As we have discussed with the U.S. government, it is now clear some items may be supplied to Huawei consistent with the entity list and applicable regulations.” The law is complex, however, because even if a chipmaker provides services from the United States for troubleshooting or instruction, the company would still be banned from selling to Huawei even if the actual chip was manufactured offshore. Over time, observers believe this whole scenario could change how manufacturers approach their products and may encourage more offshore production by U.S. firms.

While the Trump administration maintains that Chinese companies like Huawei could intercept or divert information to China, Huawei denies it has done that. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department added four more Chinese companies and one Chinese institute to the banned list based on national security or foreign policy grounds. These include Chinese supercomputer maker Sugon, three microchip design subsidiaries, and the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology. These are leaders in Chinese high-performance computing, some of which is used for the military. The Trump administration  is also considering adding Hikvision, a surveillance-technology company, to the banned list.

Emerging Tech

Parrot exits low-end drone market to focus on its Anafi quadcopter

Parrot is exiting the low-end drone market to focus on developing its more advanced Anafi drone for the commercial market. The company recently won a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a drone for soldiers.
Mobile

HMD’s Nokia 2.2 is now available in the U.S., and it’s slated to get Android Q

HMD Global's Nokia 2.2 is yet another ultra-affordable phone from the company that's making its way to the U.S. The device offers a modern bezel-less design, and HMD Global said it will get Android Q.
News

Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S.
Smart Home

Contrary to limited reports, consumer interest in smart home tech is soaring

Interest in smart home tech isn't waning. On the contrary, according to the Consumer Technology Association, 2019 is heading toward a record-breaking year in U.S. consumer tech sales, hitting $400 billion for the first time.
Gaming

Respawn against Apex Legends players using keyboard and mouse on consoles

Respawn said that it does not condone players using keyboard and mouse in Apex Legends on consoles. Some players believe that the alternate input device gives too much of an advantage over players using controllers.
Web

Pegasus spyware can break into users’ cloud accounts and steal data

An Israeli software company has developed a tool with the ability to break into users' cloud-based accounts. The software has been advertised as being able to copy authentication keys and access cloud services like Google Drive or iCloud.
Gaming

Blizzard teases Overwatch hero 31, but name and image may have already leaked

Blizzard teased hero 31 of Overwatch through a faux Developer Update that featured a wormhole and several complicated equations. However, the new character's name and image may have already been leaked.
Emerging Tech

China’s space station, Tiangong-2, has burned up in the atmosphere

China's space station, Tiangong-2, has burned up in the Earth's atmosphere as part of a planned deorbit. It was originally scheduled to be in space for two or three years, but it survived longer than expected and spent 1,000 days in space.
News

Vintage and modern spin together in new streaming turntable from Como

Como Audio plans to release a smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. The company is also releasing a streaming turntable that allows you to play your favorite vinyl over Bluetooth speakers.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Artemis capsule is complete, will carry the first woman to the moon

The crew capsule which will carry American astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis project has been completed. The completion of the Artemis 1 capsule was announced by Vice President Mike Pence.
Emerging Tech

Three new astronauts join the International Space Station crew for Expedition 60

Exactly fifty years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, a new team of astronauts from NASA, Roscosmos, and ESA have arrived at the International Space Station to begin their stay there.
Cars

Polaris builds Lunar Rover Vehicle replica with Indian, Slingshot, and RZR parts

Polaris Industries employees worked with a NASA astronaut and members of the original Apollo 11 Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV) team to build a replica of the vehicle that landed on the moon. Most of the parts came from current Polaris vehicles.
Gaming

Hideo Kojima reveals Death Stranding box art, mentions Keanu Reeves at SDCC 2019

Hideo Kojima was a part of a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. The legendary game director revealed the final box art for the Standard Edition and Steelbook of Death Stranding, while also mentioning Keanu Reeves and streaming games.
Mobile

Android will soon monitor battery of wireless earbuds, find them if they get lost

Google will soon roll out new features that will improve Android support for true wireless earbuds. The planned features include the ability to monitor the charge of the wireless earbuds and Find My Device compatibility.