China slams US for latest bans against Huawei, vows measures

China slams the Trump administration notifying Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company.

China said it will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese businesses, after the Trump administration notified Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company.

“We urge the US to immediately repeal the wrong decision and stop baselessly cracking down on foreign businesses,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday.

The fresh ban intends to also 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.

Many media outlets, including some in the US, have pointed out that the current US administration is implementing a “scorched earth policy,” burning every bridge with an aim to create hurdles for the incoming Biden administration, Hua said.

The notices came amid a flurry of US 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.

In an e-mail 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. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics fell 1.5 percent while Japan’s Advantest shed 1.5 percent and Tokyo Electron lost 0.8 percent.

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 e-mail said the actions spanned a “broad range” of products in the semiconductor industry and asked companies whether they had received notices.

The e-mail 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.

The US put Huawei on a Commerce Department “entity list” in May 2019, restricting suppliers from selling US goods and technology.

But some sales were allowed and others denied while the United States intensified its crackdown, in part by expanding US authority to require licenses for sales of semiconductors made abroad with American technology.

Before the latest action, some 150 licenses were pending for US$120 billion worth of goods and technology, which had been held up because various US agencies could not agree on whether they should be granted.

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