The Biden administration has approved licenses worth hundreds of millions of dollars for China’s blacklisted telecom company Huawei to buy American chips.
The Trump administration had earlier blocked Huawei from buying computer chips the company relies on for its smartphones and equipment for its 5G network, which the U.S. believes could be used for spying by the Chinese government.
Why it matters:
- The reported deal is a big win for Huawei, which had been hampered by restrictions on the sale of chips.
- While restrictions on 5G equipment remain, the licensed chips will be used in video screens, sensors, and in vehicles that may have other components with 5G capability and be used by the Chinese military.
- Senator Tom Cotton stated, “It’s unacceptable for the Biden administration to ease the pressure campaign against Chinese spy companies like Huawei.”
- Senator Marco Rubio called the move “yet another example of President Biden’s failure to protect America’s economic and national security.” He said Huawei has a long history of exporting Beijing’s “digital authoritarianism” and pressed the Biden Administration to increase penalties and restrictions on Huawei and other Chinese tech companies “instead of granting waivers”.