Republican Senators led by Marco Rubio on Thursday, October 14, called on the Biden administration to blacklist Honor, a former unit of embattled Chinese telecom giant Huawei, describing the firm as a threat to national security.
In a letter dated October 14 seen by Reuters, Rubio described Honor as essentially an “arm” of the Chinese government with newly unfettered access the same prized US technology currently denied to Huawei. The letter adds their voices to a growing chorus of China hawks calling for the blacklisting.
By spinning off Honor, “Beijing has effectively dodged a critical American export control,” Rubio wrote, in the letter signed also by Senators John Cornyn and Rick Scott. In November 2020, Huawei sold off its lower-end smartphone brand Honor.
“By failing to act in response, the Department of Commerce risks setting a dangerous precedent and communicating to adversaries that we lack the capacity or willpower to punish blatant financial engineering by an authoritarian regime.”
Honor, the Department of Commerce, and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Huawei declined to comment, but pointed to a prior statement, which affirmed that Huawei would not hold any shares or be involved in managing Honor following the spin-off.
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