US OKs Licenses For Huawei To Buy Auto Chips

US officials have approved license applications worth hundreds of millions of dollars for China’s blacklisted telecom company Huawei to buy chips for its growing auto component business, two people familiar with the matter said.

Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, has been hobbled by trade restrictions imposed by the Trump administration on the sale of chips and other components used in its network gear and smartphones businesses. The Biden administration has been reinforcing the hard line on exports to Huawei, denying licenses to sell chips to Huawei for use in or with 5G devices.

But in recent weeks and months, people familiar with the application process told Reuters the US has granted licenses authorizing suppliers to sell chips to Huawei for such vehicle components as video screens and sensors. The approvals come as Huawei pivots its business toward items that are less susceptible to US trade bans.

Auto chips are generally not considered sophisticated, lowering the bar for approval. One person close to the license approvals said the government is granting licenses for chips in vehicles that may have other components with 5G capability.

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