Skip to content
US lawmaker calls for end to Huawei and SMIC exports after chip breakthrough

The U.S. Commerce Department should end all technology exports to Huawei and China’s top semiconductor maker following the discovery of new chips in Huawei phones that could violate trade restrictions, the chairman of the board said on Wednesday. House Committee on China.

The comments by Rep. Mike Gallagher, an influential Republican lawmaker whose select committee has pressed the Biden administration to take a tougher stance on sending American technology to China, come after Chinese electronics giant Huawei started selling a phone called Mate 60 Pro last week.

The phone contains a chip that analysts say was made thanks to a breakthrough technology from Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp (SMIC).

“This chip probably could not be produced without American technology and therefore the minimum wage may have violated the Commerce Department’s foreign direct product rule,” Gallagher said in a statement. “Now is the time to end all US technology exports to Huawei and SMIC to make it clear that any company that flouts US law and undermines our national security will be cut off from our technology.”

Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist in May 2019 for national security reasons, requiring its US and other suppliers to obtain a special license to ship goods to it. SMIC was added to the entity list in December 2020, over concerns that it would divert advanced technology to military users.

Trade restrictions on Huawei and SMIC include the Foreign Direct Products Rule designed to prohibit any company anywhere in the world from using tools from the United States to manufacture a chip for Huawei.

But suppliers to Huawei and SMIC have been awarded billions of dollars in licenses to sell U.S. technology to those companies, despite being on trade lists, Reuters previously reported. About 90% of the licenses were intended to be sold at minimum wage.

The U.S. Department of Commerce office overseeing export controls did not immediately respond to a request for comment.