Huawei ban expanded to include foreign-made chips using US tech

US government says its move to restrict the Chinese tech giant from accessing chips made by foreign manufacturers using US technology aims to "impede" Huawei's attempts to circumvent earlier controls by going through third parties.

The US government has expanded restrictions to further curb Huawei Technologies' access to core components, now barring the Chinese tech giant from purchasing chips made by foreign manufacturers using US technology. It also added another 38 affiliates of Huawei to the Entity List, including Huawei Cloud Singapore and Huawei Cloud France.  

Effective immediately, the latest amendments were implemented to "impede" Huawei's efforts to circumvent earlier export controls by going through third parties, said the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in a statement Monday. 

The bureau further noted that it imposed licence requirements on "any transaction involving items" subject to the export controls where a party on the Entity List was involved, for example, when Huawei was a purchaser, intermediate, or end user. In addition, he said, the Temporary General Licence had expired. 

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The 38 Huawei affiliates that now are part of the Entity List include Huawei Cloud Computing Technology, Huawei Cloud Singapore, Huawei Cloud France, and Huawei Cloud Russia. BIS said these had been added to the list because they "present a significant risk" of acting on Huawei's behalf "contrary to [the US] national security or foreign policy interests". 

"There is reasonable cause to believe that Huawei, otherwise, would seek to use them to evade the restrictions imposed by the Entity List," the bureau said, adding that the new measures would prevent Huawei from obtaining electronic components developed or produced by foreign companies using US technology.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said: "Huawei and its foreign affiliates have extended their efforts to obtain advanced semiconductors developed or produced from US software and technology in order to fulfil the policy objectives of the Chinese Communist Party... This multi-pronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei's ability to do so."

The US government last month introduced visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese technology vendors, specifically Huawei, that provided "material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally." 

Huawei had described the US government's export restrictions as efforts to stem foreign competition and said such moves would undermine the trust international companies had in US technology and supply chains. It also warned that the Chinese government likely would roll out countermeasures if the US continued to impose trade sanctions on the networking equipment vendor. 

The US government's trade restrictions had prompted Huawei to increase its research and development investment by 30% as well as invest in reengineering its products. This had led to redesigns of more than 1,800 boards and rewrites of some 16 million lines of its software codes, according to the Chinese company, which added that it sought out alternative sources for many of its materials.

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