It looks like the licensing restrictions on Huawei are trickling into effect.
Our sources indicate that, as early as February 27, all license applications for exports or transfers involving Huawei which were pending with the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have been placed on Hold Without Action. Further, we understand from various industry sources that BIS has begun informing certain U.S. companies that they will not receive further licenses to export chips for end use by Huawei.
On March 1, in a new development, it was reported that the U.S. Government may go a step further and is considering the revocation of existing export licenses issued to U.S. suppliers for sales to Huawei.
It is likely not unrelated that, on February 28, Alan Estevez, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC). The HFAC has titled that hearing “Combatting the Generational Challenge of CCP Aggression.”
In that hearing, Estevez confirmed that the policy is “under assessment” as the agency conducts a “top-to-bottom review of our export control policies related to China”. Estevez also mentioned that “[a] licensing rule of the previous administration that still stands for Huawei allows things below 5G, below cloud-level to go,” adding that “all those things are under assessment”. Press reports, however, are quoting other sources who say that the White House is now directing Commerce to “cut off 4G sales” for end use by Huawei as well.
As ever, our team will continue to monitor the changes in U.S. and EU export regulations and their impacts across the semiconductor industry. And, of course, we will provide our updates here.