WASHINGTON (US) – In what looks like one of the last efforts by the Trump administration against Huawei Technologies, they have been informed that the administration is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to decline dozens of other applications to supply the telecommunications firm, said sources. Chipmaker Intel too has been notified.
The action is the latest in a long-running effort to weaken the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which Washington sees as a national security threat.
The notices came amid a flurry of US efforts against China in the final days of Trump’s administration as Democrat Joe Biden is slated to take oath of office as president on Wednesday.
In an email the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Friday that the Commerce Department had issued “intents to deny a significant number of license requests for exports to Huawei and a revocation of at least one previously issued license.” Sources said there was more than one revocation. One of the sources said eight licenses were taken away from four companies. The email also said the actions spanned a “broad range” of products in the semiconductor industry and asked companies whether they had received notices.
The news triggered moderate profit-taking in some semiconductor related shares in Asia. Korea’s Samsung Electronics fell 1.5% while Japan’s Advantest shed 1.5% and Tokyo Electron lost 0.8%.
Japanese flash memory chip maker Kioxia Corp had at least one license revoked, two of the sources said. The company, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corp, said it does not “disclose business details regarding specific products or customers.”
Companies that received the “intent to deny” notices have 20 days to respond, and the Commerce Department has 45 days to advise them of any change in a decision or it becomes final. Companies would then have another 45 days to appeal.
The United States put Huawei on a Commerce Department “entity list” in May 2019, restricting suppliers from selling U.S. goods and technology to it.
Trump has targeted Huawei in other ways. Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada in December 2018, on a U.S. warrant. Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, and the company itself were indicted for misleading banks about its business in Iran.
Meng has said she is innocent. Huawei has denied the claims of spying and pleaded not guilty to the indictments.