Trump halts supplies to Huawei in parting shot

Donald Trump waving goodbye

The Trump administration has sent notices to US suppliers of Huawei warning that it is revoking certain licences that allow American firms to sell to the Chinese company.

The suppliers include chipmaker Intel, according to Reuters, and the executive action will also be applied to dozens of other applications supplied to the telecoms giant.

This latest action is likely to be the last Donald Trump will take against Huawei, with president-elect Joe Biden's inauguration taking place on Wednesday. Huawei has been at the centre of a bitter trade war between the US and China, with claims from Washington that the company is a security risk due to ties with its government.

It is unclear what stance Biden will take on trade talks with China, or Huawei, but companies that receive an "intent to deny" notice have 20 days to respond. The Commerce Department has 45 days to advise them if the decision changes or becomes final and, from there, companies would then have another 45 days to appeal.

IT Pro has approached Intel and Huawei for comment. According to Reuters, sources familiar with the situation said that eight licences were pulled from four unnamed US companies.

The initial sanctions placed on Huawei in 2019 have already impacted its smartphone business, which has had to continue without full access to Google's Android operating system or the Google Play store. The firm ended 2020 losing market share to the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi, the latter overtook Apple to become the world's third-largest phone maker.

However, as another Chinese firm, Xiaomi is now also subject to strict US sanctions, this time banning American companies from investing in the smartphone manufacturer. Gartner analyst Robert Cozza told IT Pro that it was unclear at this stage if the Biden administration will take any different approach in general around the tension between China and US.

"This blacklisting is obviously not good news to Xiaomi even if this is different from the action taken against Huawei," said Cozza. "Even if it doesn't immediately affect supply chain and channels, at this point, it is a blow that sends uncertainty to all Xiaomi tech partners anyway."

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.