Qualcomm and Intel can't sell chips to Huawei anymore, report claims

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The US government has allegedly revoked Qualcomm’s and Intel’s licenses to sell chips to Huawei, according to a new report from Reuters today. While the US Commerce Department has issued a statement saying it’s “revoked certain licenses for exports to Huawei”, it hasn’t named names.

Still, if today’s report is accurate, it most likely means Huawei won’t be able to use chips from either Qualcomm or Intel going forward, which will basically ensure it can’t make any more laptops, unless there’s some workaround that hasn’t yet been detailed.

Huawei MateBook X Pro 2024
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2024

The revokation of the licenses is apparently effective immediately, which puts into question how many of the recently announced MateBook X Pro laptops the Chinese company can sell (which depends on how many Intel chips it already has in its possession, since more aren’t coming).

Qualcomm, Intel, and Huawei haven’t responded with comments yet, but this is a developing story so that may change in the next few hours or days.

The Chinese foreign ministry did issue a statement saying: “China resolutely opposes the United States overstretching the concept of national security and abusing export controls to suppress Chinese companies without justification”.

Qualcomm and Intel can't sell chips to Huawei anymore, report claims

Huawei’s woes started back in 2019, when it was placed on a US trade restriction list, a move which was justified by fears it could spy on Americans. Following that move, Huawei’s suppliers have had to seek a special, and allegedly difficult to obtain license before shipping – and such licenses have now reportedly been revoked for Qualcomm and Intel.

These two companies received their respective licenses in 2020, but Qualcomm was only able to sell older 4G chips to Huawei. However, Huawei still pays Qualcomm to license its portfolio of 5G technologies, part of a patent deal that expires in Qualcomm’s fiscal 2025. It’s unclear if that was in part used to develop Huawei’s latest Kirin chips for smartphones or not.

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