US lawmaker calls for end to all tech exports to Huawei, SMIC after chip breakthrough in new smartphone

The US Commerce Department should end all technology exports to Huawei Technologies and China’s top semiconductor firm following the discovery of new chips in Huawei phones that may violate trade restrictions, the chair of the House of Representatives’ committee on China said on Wednesday.

The comments from Representative Mike Gallagher, an influential Republican lawmaker whose select committee has pressed the Biden administration to take a tougher stance on sending US technology to China, come after Chinese electronics giant Huawei last week started selling a phone called the Mate 60 Pro. The phone contains a chip that analysts believe was made with a technology breakthrough by Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp (SMIC).

“This chip likely could not be produced without US technology and thus SMIC may have violated the Department of Commerce’s Foreign Direct Product Rule,” Gallagher said in a statement. “The time has come to end all US technology exports to both Huawei and SMIC to make clear any firm that flouts US law and undermines our national security will be cut off from our technology.”

The SMIC headquarters in Shanghai, China. Photo: Bloomberg

Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist in May 2019 over national security concerns, forcing its US suppliers and others to obtain a special licence to ship goods to it. SMIC was added to the so-called entity list in December 2020, over fears it could divert advanced technology to military users.


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