Beijing expresses “deep concern” at reports the US Commerce Department has stopped export licences for Huawei
Tensions between the United States and Beijing ramps up another notch, amid reports of fresh restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies.
On Tuesday Silicon UK cited multiple media articles that reported the US government has stopped providing US firms with licences to export technology to Huawei.
The US Commerce Department reportedly notified some companies that it will no longer grant licences to any firm exporting US technology to Huawei.
The move comes as the Republican-led House of Representatives prepares a review of the US Commerce Department’s activities.
But CNN noted that China has hit back at reports that Washington is moving to further restrict sales of American technology to Huawei.
“China is deeply concerned,” Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the country’s foreign ministry, was quoted as saying at a press conference Tuesday.
“We are closely following relevant developments,” Mao reportedly added.
“China firmly opposes the United States’ generalisation of the concept of national security, abuse of state power, and unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies,” she told reporters, adding that such a move would “violate international economic and trade rules.”
Mao reportedly vowed that Beijing would “firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”
Huawei reportedly declined to comment on the reports.
Huawei used to be the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker, but in recent years has been the major target of US efforts to halt technology to Chinese tech firms over national security concerns.
Huawei has always denied posing a security threat, but a total ban on acquiring any US technology could have dire consequences for the firm.
Huawei’s troubles began in 2019 when the Trump administration placed the company on a blacklist known as the Entity List, banning US firms from supplying it with goods or services without a licence.
But some licences were granted to companies such as Qualcomm and Intel for technologies not related to 5G.
The blacklist led to a steep revenue decline for Huawei in 2021, but the company said in December that its 2022 revenues were flat at 636.9 billion yuan ($94bn, £76bn).
Meanwhile the US continues its efforts to expand its tough export stance against Chinese firms.
In October the US announced fresh restrictions that included a ban on exporting advanced chip-making equipment to China and in December it added China’s biggest manufacturer of memory chips, YMTC, to its Entity List.
Last week the US reportedly reached an agreement with the Netherlands and Japan that essentially halts the export of chip-making equipment from the likes of ASML and Tokyo Electron to China.