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US tightens Huawei semiconductor access

Written by Tue 18 Aug 2020

MI5 Huawei

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Huawei has ‘continuously tried to evade’ restrictions on its access to US-made chips

US restrictions against Huawei have been tightened further in a bid to prevent the tech giant from circumventing measures designed to cut its access to American technology.

The latest crackdown makes it even harder for the Chinese firm to buy chips produced by the US, even if they are made abroad.

Another 38 Huawei affiliates were also added to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List, a blacklist of firms linked to Huawei.

“We don’t want their equipment in the United States because they spy on us,” Mr Trump told Fox News on Monday. “And any country that uses it, we’re not going to do anything in terms of sharing intelligence.”

Washington has combined its economic sanctions on Huawei with a lobbying campaign pushing allies in Europe and elsewhere to exclude the company from planned next-generation wireless networks.

Mr Trump referred to Huawei as “the spy way” as he spoke with Fox & Friends hosts on Monday. He took credit for Britain’s recent move to backtrack on plans to give the company a role in the UK’s new high-speed mobile phone network.

“We said we love Scotland Yard very much but we’re not going to do business with you because if you use the Huawei system that means they’re spying on you,” Mr Trump said. “That would mean they’re spying on us.”

The move comes amid heightened tensions between the US and China over security concerns.

The UK has also been caught in the crossfire of such restrictions, forcing it to ban Huawei equipment being used in the nation’s 5G network – a major U-turn on an earlier decision to allow it a limited stake instead.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Huawei has “continuously tried to evade” controls imposed in May.

“The Trump administration sees Huawei for what it is – an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state – and we have taken action accordingly,” he said.

“Today, our government enacted several measures to protect US national security, our citizens’ privacy, and the integrity of our 5G infrastructure from Beijing’s malign influence.”

Attention in the US has recently turned to another Chinese behemoth, TikTok, which President Donald Trump said would be banned unless it is bought from owner ByteDance.

Microsoft and Twitter are among the parties reported to have been in talks about a possible takeover of TikTok’s US operations.

Huawei has not responded to calls for comment.

Written by Tue 18 Aug 2020

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