Gradually, the U.S. and its allies, including the U.K. and Australia, have barred Huawei from operating in their 5G networks. Washington officials allege that Huawei and ZTE technology could be used by Beijing for espionage Both companies and Beijing have denied the allegations.

Huawei interdit aux États-Unis et déconnecté par l’Europe

 Said El Mansour Cherkaoui  21 septembre 2023  Said El Mansour Cherkaoui Contact: Tateyoko Research Institute – TRI Website: Peu à peu, les États-Unis et leurs alliés, … Lire la suite

Is the new Huawei phone the beginning of the defeat of the US chip sanctions against China?

Starting in 2019, the U.S. government, under the presidency of Donald Trump, enacted several sanctions that cut off Huawei from key technologies including 5G chips, Google software, and its leading-edge mobile processor, which helped propel it to the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

The US placed Huawei and SMIC on a trade blacklist in 2019 and 2020, respectively, over alleged national security concerns.

Since then, US suppliers have had to obtain a special license to ship goods to the companies.

The first signs of movement towards any sort of restrictions on Huawei began in 2019 and 2020: representatives from 30 EU and NATO countries signed a recommendation regarding the security of 5G infrastructure (the Prague Proposals); the EU released its toolbox for 5G security (a nonbinding recommendation) which called on EU countries to restrict 5G suppliers deemed “high risk,” such as from “state-backed actors”; and over a dozen European countries signed joint declarations on 5G security with the US, such as Romania, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria which often affirmed the Prague Proposals and pledged to restrict 5G suppliers subject to foreign government influence.

These actions were often motivated by concerns regarding China’s 2017 national security law, which compels Chinese companies to give information to Chinese national intelligence agencies; Huawei’s ambiguous ownership structure; the arrest of a Huawei employee in Poland for espionage; and its development of AI facial recognition technology to assist the government in identifying Uyghurs and other minorities. 

However, European countries overall have not participated in the US’s broader campaign against Huawei, such as the 2018 arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou for violating sanctions and the 2022 ban on semiconductor exports to Huawei; Europe has been focused only on 5G security.

While the US decreed an outright ban on Huawei, the EU and European countries have emphasized the need to examine “high-risk vendors,” which while currently targeted at Huawei, also provides flexibility to extend the policy to future vendors. 

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Little progress has been made on the EU level since the toolbox came out in 2019.  According to European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, only ten countries have implemented the recommendations from the 5G toolbox, which involves not only passing laws giving the government the ability to restrict vendors based on security analyses but also using those laws to exclude specific vendors.

Breton, in his 5G-related communications, has only referred to “high-risk vendors.” However, in June 2023, he and the Commission called out Huawei, as well as Chinese company ZTE, by name for the first time, in urging member states to immediately comply with the toolbox: “…the decisions taken by certain Member States to restrict or exclude completely Huawei and ZTE from their 5G networks are justified and in line with the toolbox,” he said, backing up the European Commission’s assessment that they “represent materially higher risks than other 5G suppliers,” prompting a rebuke from the companies and the Chinese government.

In addition, the EU, as an organization, has moved to ban Huawei and ZTE internally; in the same release, the Commission announced it was going to cut off its internal communications from telecom networks using Huawei or ZTE equipment and ban the companies “in all relevant EU funding programs and instruments.” This is a measure that the US government similarly announced – banning government agencies from purchasing Huawei telecom equipment – before it moved to ban Huawei nationwide.

One clear reason for the recent developments is that the war in Ukraine has made the risks of relying on non-allied countries for critical resources, such as Russian gas, extremely clear to European countries. This is no less clear to Germany, with the failure of Nord Stream 2. Breton made this argument clear in his June statement: “We have been able to reduce or eliminate our dependencies in other sectors such as energy in record time when many thought it was impossible,” he said. “The situation with 5G should be no different: we cannot afford to maintain critical dependencies that could become a ‘weapon’ against our interests.”

Another reason is the increasing pressure from the United States. While the US moves against Huawei began with Trump, Biden has continued the assault, and in some areas, such as the semiconductor ban, increased its intensity, and his increased credibility on the international stage has made the US position more legitimate. Furthermore, the US, in pushing for Huawei bans, frequently threatens to cut off intelligence-sharing with countries that have Huawei in their telecom networks. This tactic was effective in pressuring the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand into banning Huawei, over threats to exclude them from their Five Eyes intelligence cooperation deal.

House Republicans Demand Full Huawei Sanctions After Chip Breakthrough

New phone suggests sanctions violation, lawmakers say Republican lawmakers in the United States have called for tougher sanctions against China’s Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) after the companies were able to develop an advanced smartphone despite US export controls.

The 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives – who include the chairs of key committees on China, energy and commerce, and defense – are urging the Commerce Department to impose “full blocking sanctions” on Huawei and SMIC as well as criminal charges against their executives. The US Commerce Department launched a formal probe last week

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she was “upset” when China’s Huawei Technologies Co. released a new phone with an advanced chip during her visit to the country last month but noted that the US has no evidence China can make those components “at scale.”

Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro, unveiled last month during US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit to China, uses an advanced processor that is capable of supporting 5G. Raimondo testified at a congressional hearing on Tuesday 9/19/2023.

“We are trying to use every single tool at our disposal to deny the Chinese the ability to advance their technology in ways that can hurt us.”

SMIC, China’s top chipmaker, has manufactured a 7-nanometer processor for Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro within the implementation of US chip sanctions against China

While many countries in the Western world have decisively banned Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei from their 5G networks due to national security concerns, the EU has lacked the consensus for such a policy, in part due to Huawei’s and China’s strong relationships within the bloc. However, recent announcements from Germany, the biggest holdout, and top EU brass suggest that momentum within the EU is growing for a ban on Huawei. 

Less than a decade ago, Europe was Huawei’s largest market outside China. According to industry figures from Strand Consult, 48 percent of European mobile customers had access to Chinese 4G RAN, and 41 percent had access to Chinese 5G RAN (which consists of both Huawei and ZTE equipment, but of which ZTE makes up a minimal part).

Along with these strong economic ties, Huawei poured lavish amounts of money into developing strong cultural, people-to-people relationships, donating millions of dollars to universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, University of Warsaw, and Technical University Munich, and sponsoring research centers such as the PSNC-Huawei Innovation Center in Poznan, a scholarship to study at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen and even Germany’s Christian Democratic Union’s party convention in 2021.

 Said El Mansour Cherkaoui  June 29, 2023

 Compilation et commentaire par Said El Mansour Cherkaoui  

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