The U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo stated on Tuesday that there is no evidence to suggest that the Chinese manufacturer Huawei can mass-produce smartphones with advanced chips. Huawei has begun selling its Mate 60 Pro smartphone. This smartphone is believed to feature a chip manufactured using technology developed by the Chinese chip foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC).
“We don’t have any evidence that they can manufacture seven-nanometer (chips) at scale,” stated Gina Raimondo during a U.S. House hearing. She made this statement in reference to advanced chip manufacturing capabilities.
Since 2019, the U.S. has restricted Huawei’s access to specific chipmaking equipment due to concerns about the company’s alleged security risks. The Chinese tech giant, Huawei has denied these allegations on several occasions. The U.S. government has cited concerns about potential spying on U.S. telecommunications networks as a reason for these restrictions.
U.S is Investigating the Huawei Kirin 9000s Chip
The U.S. Commerce Department announced that it is actively seeking additional information regarding the chip. They are looking into the nature and components of the chip used in Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro. This is because they suspect that Huawei manufactured the chip using U.S technologies. If confirmed, it could potentially violate trade restrictions.
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During a House Science Committee hearing, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressed her concern over the reports of advanced Huawei smartphones. Some Republican party members believe that the Commerce Department should halt all technology exports to both Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC).
Chairs of several important House committees, including Foreign Affairs, Energy and Commerce, Armed Services, and select China committees, have called on the Commerce Department to cease issuing licenses to Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC). They argue for stronger U.S. pressure and more robust export controls on entities perceived as adversaries.
Huawei Launched the Mate 60 Pro with Kirin 9000s Chip During Raimondo’s Visit to China
Gina Raimondo did not comment further. As to whether she is considering the cessation of all licenses for Huawei. During the hearing, Republican Representative Darrell Issa mentioned that Gina Raimondo was in China when Huawei announced its new Huawei phone.
Issa said, “You were bushwhacked to say the least by the launch of a 5G phone.”
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has stated that the U.S. government is actively seeking more information about the Huawei chip. Additionally, Gina Raimondo expressed concern over reports of Chinese government officials being banned from using Apple’s iPhones, considering it a concerning development.