Wednesday, August 4

the American embargo loosens a little

Licenses are distributed to companies wishing to do business with Huawei. To get it, they just need to prove that it’s not about 5G.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera

The rear photo module of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro // Gamesdone: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

Could the light at the end of the tunnel be appearing in Huawei’s field of view? This is in any case what the latest political decisions of the United States may suggest concerning the embargo against the Chinese manufacturer, in particular with regard to the design of chips.

A difficult year for Huawei

In the spring of 2019, Donald Trump’s government took sanctions against the Chinese manufacturer to avoid its presence in the 5G market, accusing it of being too close to the Chinese government. For the United States, this poses a threat to the country’s internal security, as the networks can then be used for espionage.

The embargo put in place then prevented all American companies from working with the Chinese giant, and by side effect, also certain international firms using American technologies. Huawei therefore found itself deprived of services from Google, among other things, but also from a certain number of its component suppliers, whether for its screens or the design of its chips. A blow that could have had very serious consequences on a global scale for the brand, which still managed to stay the course, thanks to its strong presence in the Chinese market and a rich catalog of products still on sale.

Gradually issued exemptions

A year and a half later, Huawei is still not out of the woods and its latest smartphones, like the Mate 40 Pro for example, still cannot natively integrate the Google Play Store. The relaxation of the embargo nevertheless allows the Chinese manufacturer to be reassured about the components that it can use in the future in its smartphones and PCs.

According to information from the Financial Times (paid article), the US Department of Commerce “ told companies in recent conversations that while licenses to Huawei are managed with a denial purpose, this may be reconsidered if the technology is shown not to support 5G “. This would allow Huawei to find many of its suppliers and continue its activity.hardware in the world.

Several brands were thus authorized to continue their commercial activities with Huawei. This is the case of ARM, which supplies the architectures for the Kirin chips for the manufacturer’s smartphones, of Samsung, which supplies it with screens, and, according to the Financial Times, of Sony for its CMOS photo sensors. More than 300 companies have thus requested a license to continue working with Huawei.

Two names are mentioned by Edison Lee, analyst at Jefferies: Qualcomm and MediaTek, two chip designers. If Google isn’t talking about it yet, the idea could be put back on the table in the future. Some experts, however, warn those with high expectations on the matter, pointing to the “erratic” political decisions of the Trump administration.

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