Commerce Department Restricts Chip Makers from Supplying Huawei

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Huawei’s current 5G dominance has been thrown into jeopardy after the Commerce Department’s decision last month to restrict chip makers globally who use U.S. technology from supplying semiconductors to Huawei. This came after the department’s ban last year on Huawei buying American parts, and is seen as an escalation by the Trump Administration against a company widely viewed as a security threat because of its close connection to the Chinese government’s espionage operations.

The article added that the department’s newest rule will disrupt their development of 5G telecom networks, as the Chinese company does not have the capacity to build semiconductor chips themselves. Undersecretary of State Keith Krach called the latest measure a “surgical approach” in preventing the company from rolling out their 5G operations world wide, particularly in Europe where the Trump Administration has been advocating for a ban on Huawei business. China Tech Threat founder Roslyn Layton noted in her recent AEI blog post, “Huawei, the Trump administration, and a race against time,” that the administration’s move is an “essential step to limit Huawei’s ability to leverage US technology for its own innovation and to force it to be a China-only company.”

U.S. officials have demonstrated increased concern over the rise of China’s 5G technology and its unique threat to domestic cybersecurity, and this action represents the next step in President Trump’s fight against Huawei. During the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security forum’s webinar, “5G Security Challenges,” United States Special Representative Robert Blair emphasized that the increased prevalence of China-connected companies in Europe and the U.S. is a threat to democracy and telecommunications security. The administration should continue to disrupt China’s cyber transgressions and shine a light on any foreign owned company that seeks to infiltrate American networks.