It’s been one helluva ride for the Chinese telecoms company, Huawei, over the past few years. While the human population of the world is busy fighting an invisible threat, Huawei’s been fighting intensive sanctions against its business from the US. Now, in an unprecedented move, the US government has approved the sale of Qualcomm mobile chipsets to the company.
According to a report by Reuters, Qualcomm has received permission from the US to sell 4G mobile chips to Huawei. It’s the first exception of its kind to come from the Trump administration. We know that Qualcomm applied to be an official supplier to Huawei through official channels early in 2020, and the administration clearly thought it would be… okay?
This is an interesting development, as the Trump administration essentially barred any chipmaker in the world from trading with Huawei if they use US tech. It’s for this reason that Huawei couldn’t get chips from its chosen chip supplier in Taiwan anymore.
Some background on the Huawei x Trump saga
In 2019, the US government decided to place Huawei and 114 of its affiliate companies on something called an Entity List’. That’s a sanction that prevents US companies from doing business with certain foreign companies that might impact national security. This is the latest retaliation in a trade war between the two global superpowers that will affect many other nations, including South Africa, because it means Google has revoked Huawei’s licence to use its Google Suite of apps.
So US businesses had to apply for an official licence that would allow them to trade with the company — exactly what Qualcomm did earlier this year. What we do find interesting, however, is that Google applied for the same licence, but hasn’t received feedback yet. So the Trump administration is still succeeding in trying to cripple Huawei.
But gaining Qualcomm as a chip supplier can just be good for Huawei., Even though it has been used to producing its own architecture in the form of the Kirin chipsets, Qualcomm makes some of the best processing units in the mobile world. It also comes at a great time as Huawei is running out of mobile processors. It had some stock, but the launch of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro have depleted some of its excess stock.
The report by Reuters doesn’t mention much detail about chip specs. We just know that they’ll be supplying Huawei with mobile processors, and the licence only covers 4G tech.