Huawei could be handed a potential lifeline as the US loosens its sanctions against the tech company, allowing a growing number of chipmakers around the world to supply components to Huawei as long as they are not used in the company’s 5G research and development, according to a Financial Times report.
The news could mean that the situation has taken a favorable turn for Huawei – as the sanctions still put a hold on a lot of its telecom infrastructures business, the company’s essential smartphone sector could see a chance to recover.
According to the FT report, tech companies have been told by the US Department of Commerce that the licenses to supply Huawei could pass as long as they can demonstrate that their technology does not support 5G. Two Asian semiconductor companies said in the FT report that they were optimistic about the approval of their license applications to resume shipments to Huawei. One of them said it’s been indicated to them that chips for mobile devices are not a problem, according to the report.
Huawei has been faced with tremendous pressure due to the cut in chip suppliers. The newly launched Huawei Mate 40 series featuring the company’s speedy Kirin 9000 processor was a huge hit domestically. But because of a limited amount of chips in stock, and the lack of manufacturers in prospect, Huawei’s smartphone line could go extinct. There have also been rumors of Huawei selling its Honor brand, freeing it from the US ban and giving it more room to develop its own smartphones.
But recently, a few companies were permitted by the US to supply parts to Huawei. Samsung Electronics announced on Tuesday that it had been permitted a US license for providing OLED displays for Huawei handsets. Chinese-owned OmniVision had also been granted licenses to supply Huawei with CMOS image sensors for Huawei’s smartphone cameras.
Huawei’s businesses have recently been faced with several challenges, but the company will do everything it can to keep going, said Chengdong Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business.
“No matter how hard the situation gets, Huawei promises that it will bring the best technology and innovation to consumers, to improve people’s lives and boost work efficiency,” Yu said during a previous launch event.
Despite the grave challenges the tech giant is facing, Huawei’s Mate 40 series has received a warm welcome in China. The Huawei Mate40 Pro and Mate40 Pro+ became available for preorder on JD.com on Oct. 23 and sold out in just 28 seconds.
With more chipset makers being allowed to supply Huawei and the matter starting to look less hopeless, however, industry experts warn against too high expectations, with concerns of the Trump administration’s erratic policy decisions, according to the FT report.