Business & Economy

US increases pressure on Huawei, further limiting access to chips

Washington, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- The United States government on Monday increased its pressure on Huawei by adopting a series of measures to limit the Chinese telecommunications firm’s access to microprocessors produced by other companies and included 38 affiliates of Huawei on the list of entities that Washington deems could pose a threat to US national security.

Officials at the Department of Commerce on Monday at a telephone press conference with media representatives said that the new measures effectively restrict Huawei’s access to chips produced by other firms using US software or hardware.

“These actions, effective immediately, prevent Huawei’s attempts to circumvent U.S. export controls to obtain electronic components developed or produced using U.S. technology,” said the department.

This past May, Washington had limited Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that were directly produced using US software and technology.

But US authorities said that the Chinese company has been working with third parties to take advantage of US technology and undermine national security.

US Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross said in a statement that “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,” Ross added.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Huawei is an “arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state” and tweeted that the administration had “dealt a direct blow to Huawei and the repressive Chinese Communist Party by further limiting Huawei’s ability to acquire U.S. technology and compromise the integrity of the world’s networks and Americans’ private information.”

Pompeo added that the new sanctions were imposed “to protect US national security, our citizens’ privacy, and the integrity of our 5G infrastructure from Beijing’s malign influence.”

“We will not tolerate efforts by the CCP to undermine the privacy of our citizens, our businesses’ intellectual property, or the integrity of next-generation networks worldwide,” said Pompeo.

A top official in the Commerce Department told reporters that Washington’s move also has the aim of showing US allies the seriousness with which the Donald Trump administration takes the problem represented by Huawei and the US interest in having other countries follow Washington’s example.

“What in May was aimed squarely at Huawei’s indigenous chip design, the rule today amends that and attempts to capture Huawei backfilling its indigenously designed chips with chips from other manufacturers,” the official said.

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