Qualcomm, Micron Technology, Samsung, Mediatek, and Macronix International are among a number of companies to seek US permission to continue trade with the Chinese vendors
September 15th marked the implementation of the latest round of US sanctions against Huawei, stopping companies from supplying the vendor with any chips developed or produced using US technology.
The sanctions have already hit Huawei hard. The loss of TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor company, is particularly devastating. TSMC was being relied upon to produce Kirin 9000 processors, key components of Huawei’s Mate 40 mobile phone. However, reports suggest that TSMC will only deliver around 8.8 million of the 15 million chips ordered by the time the sanctions take hold. This could be a disaster for Huawei, which was hoping to ship 8 million Mate 40 devices between its October launch and the end of 2020.
"It’s never been more urgent for us to make breakthroughs in core technologies," an anonymous Huawei supplier told the Global Times. “The whole industry now is working around the clock to break the US blockage. This sense of urgency will surely help speed up progress.”
While Huawei and its suppliers are quick to emphasise that the majority of their technology is home-grown, there is still a large reliance on foreign tech for specialist items, with insiders suggesting that the sanctions could serve to drive Chinese companies into the arms of companies in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
But while some East Asian suppliers could gain business to fill the void created by the sanctions, many in the US and beyond will be directly maligned. Qualcomm was fairly vocal about the billions of dollars of business it would lose in the face of these new sanctions, arguing that the money was not only important for their business model but for their development of new US technology, helping keep the West ahead in the brewing technological cold war.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise then, that a wide range of companies, including Qualcomm, Micron Technology, Samsung, Mediatek, Macronix International, and mainland China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp are among those to have already applied for US permission to continue selling to Huawei. As of yet, however, none of these companies have reported success.
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