US approves hundreds of millions of dollars worth of chips for Huawei

According to Reuters, the US has granted licenses allowing vendors to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of chips to Huawei for its burgeoning auto business. The information was confirmed by two sources familiar with this issue.

Automotive ICs are generally not considered complex, which lowers the bar for approval. The source confirmed that the US government is licensing chips in vehicles that may have other 5G-enabled components.

When asked about automotive licenses, a US Commerce Department spokesman said the government continues to consistently enforce licensing policies to restrict Huawei's access to goods, software, or technology for activities that could harm national security and US foreign policy interests. The Commerce Department is prohibited from disclosing approvals or denials of licenses, he added.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment, adding, "We are positioning ourselves as a new supplier of smart connected vehicle components and our goal is to help OEMs create better vehicles."

Citing threats to national security, the US has done everything it can to slow the growth of Huawei's core business. The United States tightened sanctions last year to restrict the sale of chips made using American hardware. The US is also trying to persuade allies to exclude Huawei equipment from their 5G networks due to concerns about espionage.

Highlighting the shift to smart cars, outgoing chairman Eric Xu announced pacts with three state-owned Chinese carmakers, including the BAIC Group, to supply an operating system for smart cars at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year.

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