The worst is over, he loses his last American allies

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According to information from the Financial Times, the Biden administration has suspended the licenses that allow certain companies to do business with Huawei.

Huawei headquarters in Beijing
Huawei headquarters in Beijing // Source: Frandroid

For almost four years, Huawei has faced a particularly restrictive US embargo. Accused of participating in global espionage for the benefit of Beijing, the manufacturer has been listed since 2019 in theentity lista list of organizations with which US companies are prohibited from doing business.

It is because of Huawei’s presence on this list that the manufacturer’s smartphones can no longer carry Google’s mobile services, that they are not compatible with 5G or that Huawei had to resell Honor. However, Huawei still enjoyed a breather thanks to the licensing system. According to each case, and at the request of the companies that wish to trade with Huawei, Washington could until today authorize them to do so under the signing of a license agreement. This is what has allowed Intel to provide Huawei with processors for its laptops, Qualcomm to equip the brand’s smartphones with SoCs or Microsoft to offer Windows on Huawei laptops.

Washington’s policy so far has been simple in granting these licenses: they were not a problem as long as the products sold to Huawei were not related to potential security or espionage issues.

A decision that is part of a major geopolitical crisis

However, according to information from financial times, the Biden administration has finally changed its tune. As of now, licenses are no longer allowed. “Several people familiar with the matter in the administration said the Commerce Department had informed certain companies that it could no longer license US groups that exported technologies to Huawei.“, indicates the economic newspaper. This decision follows in particular the additional sanctions, last October, aimed at banning the export of semiconductors to Chinese groups. It is also part of a more complex geopolitical situation, as China used certain US components to develop military equipment.

Above all, we learned earlier this week that Japan and the Netherlands had also decided to ban the export of semiconductor manufacturing tools to China. However, these two countries are essential for the production of semiconductors, thanks to the companies Nikon and ASML, both manufacturers of photolithography machines used for electronic components.

Whether this decision should prevent Huawei’s future products from incorporating Qualcomm or Intel chips, or the brand’s PCs from taking advantage of Windows, it remains unclear to what extent these new sanctions could affect Huawei’s economic health. It must be said that, since 2019, the Chinese group has increasingly focused on the infrastructure market and the provision of services to companies and governments, in particular the Chinese government. The sale of products to individuals or 5G antennas to operators has dropped drastically.

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