US cancels licenses of Intel and Qualcomm to supply chips to Huawei

The U.S. has cancelled licenses of Intel and Qualcomm to supply chips used for laptops and handsets to telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies, Reuters news report said.
Huawei P30 smartphoneThe U.S. Commerce Department confirmed it revoked some licenses but did not name the companies.

The move is in response to the recent release of Huawei’s first AI-enabled laptop, the MateBook X Pro powered by Intel’s new Core Ultra 9 processor.

“We have revoked certain licenses for exports to Huawei,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.

“This action will bolster U.S. national security, protect American ingenuity, and diminish Communist China’s ability to advance its technology,” Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement.

The move will hurt Huawei which relies on Intel chips to power its laptops, and could hurt U.S. suppliers that do business with the company.

Intel has been facing weak demand for its traditional data center and PC chips.

United States placed Huawei on a U.S. trade restriction list in 2019 amid fears it could spy on Americans. United States never tried to reveal its proof.

Qualcomm has sold older 4G chips to handsets since receiving a license from U.S. officials in 2020. In regulatory filing earlier this month, Qualcomm had said it did not expect to receive more chip revenue from Huawei beyond this year.

However, Qualcomm still licenses its 5G technologies to Huawei. Huawei last year began using a 5G chip designed by its HiSilicon unit that some analysts believe is manufactured in violation of U.S. sanctions. Qualcomm said in the filing this month that its patent deal with Huawei expires early in Qualcomm’s fiscal 2025 and that it has started negotiations to renew the deal.

Critics argue such licenses have contributed to Huawei’s resurgence in smartphone business. Huawei in August introduced a new smartphone powered by a chip manufactured by Chinese chipmaker SMIC, despite U.S. export restrictions on both companies.