US lawmaker calls for halting Huawei and SMIC exports after chip hack

The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on China said on Wednesday that the US Commerce Department should stop all technology exports to Huawei, China’s largest semiconductor company, after discovering new chips in Huawei phones that could violate trade restrictions.

The comments by Rep. Mike Gallagher, an influential Republican lawmaker whose select committee has urged the Biden administration to take a tougher line on shipping US technology to China, come after Chinese electronics giant Huawei began selling a phone called the “Phone” last week. Mate 60 Pro. The phone contains a chip that analysts say was built using a technology breakthrough from Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp (SMIC).

“This chip may not have been possible without US technology, so SMIC may have violated the Department of Commerce’s foreign direct products rule,” Gallagher said in a statement. “It is time to end all exports of US technology to both Huawei and SMIC to make it clear that any company that violates US law and undermines our national security will be cut off from our technology.”

Huawei was blacklisted in May 2019 over national security concerns, forcing its US suppliers and others to apply for special permission to ship goods to Huawei. SMIC was added to the so-called Entity List in December 2020 over concerns that the advanced technology could be directed at military users.

The trade restrictions against Huawei and SMIC include the foreign direct products rule aimed at preventing a company anywhere in the world from using tools from the United States to manufacture a chip for Huawei.

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But suppliers to Huawei and SMIC were awarded billions of dollars in licenses to sell US technology to the companies despite being on trade listings, Reuters previously reported. About 90% of the licenses were for sale to SMIC.

The US Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Controls did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Stephen Nelis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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