The United States is looking for details on Huawei’s Chinese-made chip in the new smartphone

The United States is working to establish the full details of Huawei Technologies’ advances in chip technology, news that has fueled Chinese nationalism and sparked speculation about Washington’s curbs on the country’s vast technology sector.

Sullivan broke Washington’s silence after Huawei suddenly quietly released its phone last week while he was secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo visited China. State-backed Chinese media on Wednesday again called the revelation a breakthrough in efforts to reduce reliance on American technology. The Economic Daily said it embodies China Essence, a very similar pun on chips and heart.

I will withhold comments on the particular chip in question until we have more information about its character and composition, Sullivan said during a White House briefing on Tuesday. What it does tell us, regardless, is that the United States should continue on the path of a mix of small-scale, high-barrier technology restrictions focused solely on national security concerns, not the broader issue of trade decoupling.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks to the media in Washington on Tuesday. Photo: AP photo
Huawei and SMIC are both subject to US sanctions that prevent them from accessing chip manufacturing and the most advanced equipment, in fear of potentially aiding the Chinese military. The Mate 60 Pro, built around a 7nm Kirin 9000 processor, hints at early progress in Beijing’s effort to disengage from American technology. Some analysts suggested on Wednesday that the device, if Huawei can make it on a large scale, could do it threaten Apple’s iPhone sales in the country.

Shenzhen-based Huawei released its flagship device without an official launch event, but word quickly spread across social media as patriotic sentiment spread to Weibo and other networks after initial reports surfaced. about its chip and fast wireless capabilities.

The phone has sparked a rally among Chinese chipmaking suppliers and a hunt for Huawei-related companies that could benefit from developing a Chinese-made processor. Analysts including Jefferies Edison Lee have argued that a mass production model could hurt Apple in one of its biggest markets. The Mate 60 Pro could impact sales of Apple’s next-generation iPhone by up to 38%, Lee said.

It has become very clear that the semiconductor industry is very strategic for every nation in the world. Given the geopolitical tensions, each country is doing its best to stabilize and improve its operations, Ajit Manocha, chief executive officer of industry group SEMI, told Bloomberg Television. So it doesn’t surprise me that China has actually been working on this for years.

Children play with smartphones displayed in a Huawei store in Shanghai. Photo: EPA-EFE

Some experts have warned that the US-led global campaign to block China’s access to cutting-edge technologies could falter if the government fails to act when a violation of those constraints is identified.

US officials have repeatedly said they seek to mitigate risks rather than disassociate themselves from China. President Joe Biden’s administration has been trying to get Beijing on board and reduce tensions between the world’s two largest economies and military powers, at a time when Beijing grapples with economic uncertainty. In recent months, Washington has sent senior officials such as Raimondo and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing, although these trips do not seem to have produced significant results.

Huawei is testing the US Red Line now. If the US does not take any action, Huawei will think there is nothing to be afraid of and its other suppliers will start emulating what SMIC does and US sanctions will collapse, said Lin Tsung-nan, a professor of electrical engineering at the National Taiwan University.

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