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Biden Revokes 8 Licenses for China's Huawei in 2024, Document Reveals

The Biden administration has revoked eight Huawei licences in 2024. Licences for Qualcomm and Intel were among those impacted. The cancelled licences covered items including workout equipment and office furnishings.

U.S. President Joe Biden

The decision comes as the US government strives to slow the company's rebirth.

The Commerce Department, which is in charge of US export policy, had said in May that "certain" licences had been withdrawn without providing any specifics. However, the document now shows that licences for businesses like Qualcomm and Intel were among those impacted.

In response to an inquiry by Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, the Commerce Department stated, "Since the beginning of 2024, (the Commerce Department) has revoked eight additional licenses involving Huawei." The document further explains that the revoked licenses covered a range of goods, including exercise equipment, office furniture, and low-technology components for consumer mass-market items like touchpad and touchscreen sensors for tablets. These things are widely available in China, from both Chinese and foreign suppliers.

Huawei, Qualcomm, and Intel have yet to comment on the licence revocations. The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Congressman McCaul, verified receipt of the material and is currently evaluating it.

The disclosure of these licence revocations gives additional light on the steps being taken by the Biden administration to combat Huawei's rise. Despite earlier attempts by Washington to damage Huawei on national security grounds, the company has managed to recover. It is important mentioning that Huawei has constantly denied posing a security risk.

The timing of these licence revocations is crucial because it corresponds with increased pressure from Republican China hardliners in Congress to take a stronger stance against Huawei. Last year, the business astonished the industry with a new phone powered by a sophisticated chip built by Chinese chipmaker SMIC, despite US export prohibitions. This strategy helped Huawei smartphone sales increase by 64% year on year in the first six weeks of 2024, according to data firm Counterpoint. Additionally, Huawei's smart car component business has contributed to its revival, with the company having its greatest sales rise in four years in 2023.

Huawei was placed to a US trade sanctions list in 2019 owing to concerns about potential surveillance on Americans. Being on this list requires the company's suppliers to get a specialised and difficult-to-obtain licence before delivering goods. However, under the Trump administration, Huawei suppliers were awarded billion-dollar licences, allowing them to sell a wider range of equipment to the business than other entities on the list.

The document also discloses that between 2018 and 2023, the Commerce Department approved licences worth US$335 billion out of a total of $880 billion in applications requesting approval to sell to Chinese entities on the list. In 2021, Biden's first year in office, US$222 billion in clearances were given from US$560 billion in applications received.

  • The Biden administration has revoked eight licenses for Huawei in 2024.

  • Licenses for companies like Qualcomm and Intel were among those affected.

  • The revoked licenses covered goods such as exercise equipment and office furniture.


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