NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration notified Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other applications to supply the telecommunications firm, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The action – likely the last against Huawei Technologies under Republican President Donald Trump – is the latest in a long-running effort to weaken the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which Washington sees as a national security threat.
The notices came amid a flurry of U.S. efforts against China in the final days of Trump’s administration. Democrat Joe Biden will take the oath of office as president on Wednesday.
Huawei and Intel Corp declined to comment. Commerce said it could not comment on specific licensing decisions, but said the department continues to work with other agencies to “consistently” apply licensing policies in a way that “protects U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.”
In an email seen by Reuters documenting the actions, the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Friday the Commerce Department had issued “intents to deny a significant number of license requests for exports to Huawei and a revocation of at least one previously issued license.” Sources familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was more than one revocation. One of the sources said eight licenses were yanked from four companies.
The news triggered moderate profit-taking in some semiconductor related shares in Asia. Korea’s Samsung Electronics fell 1.5% while Japan’s Advantest shed 1.5% and Tokyo Electron lost 0.8%.
Japanese flash memory chip maker Kioxia Corp had at least one license revoked, two of the sources said. The company, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corp, said it does not “disclose business details regarding specific products or customers.”
The semiconductor association’s email said the actions spanned a “broad range” of products in the semiconductor industry and asked companies whether they had received notices.
The email noted that companies had been waiting “many months” for licensing decisions, and with less than a week left in the administration, dealing with the denials was a challenge.
A spokesman for the semiconductor group did not respond to a request for comment.
Companies that received the “intent to deny” notices have 20 days to respond, and the Commerce Department has 45 days to advise them of any change in a decision or it becomes final. Companies would then have another 45 days to appeal.