Huawei’s US suppliers try to reverse Trump’s late sales denials By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Women walk past a Huawei store in a shopping complex in Beijing

By Alexandra Alper and Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Semiconductor firms are seeking more time to appeal the Trump administration’s last-minute measures to block sales to Chinese telecoms company Huawei, hoping the Biden administration will change. heading, said five sources. Several company executives who declined to be identified by name said they ultimately do not believe the Biden administration will significantly soften the hardline position. “Everybody is deflated,” said a company executive. Billions of dollars in US technology and chip sales to Huawei depend on how the Biden administration enforces the export restrictions that the Trump administration implemented. The companies hope that with more time to present their cases to an interagency panel and a possible policy change, at least some of Huawei’s rejected sales will be allowed. The Commerce Department did not respond to requests for comment. A Huawei spokeswoman said the company has no information about the licensing process at Commerce. Days before former President Donald Trump left office on January 20, the administration notified Huawei’s suppliers, including chipmaker Intel (NASDAQ :), that the government was revoking certain licenses to sell to Huawei and had intended to reject dozens of applications for others, Reuters reported. . [L1N2JS0G3] The surprise flurry of “intent to deny” notices was one of the last-minute tough moves against China aimed at embedding President Joe Biden in hard-line policies against Beijing and cementing Trump’s legacy. Among the decisions, the Trump administration denied 116 license applications worth $ 119 billion and approved four worth $ 20 million, according to a Commerce Department document dated Jan. 13 and seen by Reuters. Another 300 applications with declared values ​​of $ 296 billion were pending, according to the document. Some companies whose license applications were rejected have asked the Commerce Department for more than the standard 20 days to appeal their denials, the sources said. The department granted 90-day extensions to some of the companies, the people said. Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist by Trump in May 2019 over national security concerns after it was accused of being able to spy on customers, as well as intellectual property theft and sanctions violations. Huawei has denied the wrongdoing. Since Huawei was blacklisted, the US government has approved requests worth $ 87 billion for sales to Huawei and denied $ 11 billion, according to the Commerce document. ‘UNTRUSTED SUPPLIER’ The Biden White House has described Huawei as an “untrusted supplier” and a threat to national security. Biden’s nominee for Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has vowed to protect the US telecommunications networks of Chinese companies, but refused to commit to keeping Huawei on a commercial blacklist. To remove the company from the blacklist, the Commerce Department would have to certify to Congress that Huawei has mitigated the national security threat it poses and that the company has resolved the charges of sanctions violations under a 2019 law. ” I don’t think they will see a change in Huawei’s policy, “said James Lewis of the CSIS security think tank. “I think (the Biden administration) is mainly signaling, ‘We’re going to do the same, but we’ll try to do it in a more business-friendly way.’ The Biden administration is reviewing China’s policy, and sources say too early to find out which path the president will take on Huawei. Trump had an inconsistent approach to Huawei, opening the door to more sales when seeking a trade deal, but then dropped further as tensions began to rise over the coronavirus and Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong last year. But few companies expected the large number of rejections in mid-January, including license applications for chips used in 4G phones.