Last month, the U.S. government intensified its trade war with China by banning long-term target Huawei from its shores. In response to the ban, numerous tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, all blocked their services on Huawei. However, some companies are reportedly lobbying behind the scenes to ease the ban.
VentureBeat reports numerous chip companies who supply CPUs to Huawei are pushing the U.S. government to relax their band on sales of the company’s products. Qualcomm and Intel, the largest chipmakers on mobile and PC respectively are including in the group.
Sources says company representatives from Intel and others held a meeting in May with the Commerce Department to discuss Huawei’s ban. Other sources say Qualcomm has been conducting its own lobbying campaign alongside the others.
The company says there should be a distinction between Huawei’s 5G technology and its consumer hardware. Concerns over the company apparently allowing the Chinese government to spy through its 5G network services pushed the U.S. government to the ban.
However, Intel, Qualcomm, and others argue devices like PCs and smartphone present less risk. They say these products use hardware from other companies and should be different from 5G tech.
“This isn’t about helping Huawei. It’s about preventing harm to American companies,” one of the sources said.
Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and also a major PC manufacturer. While companies like Google and Microsoft can survive without Huawei, many chipmakers will take a significant hit if Huawei’s business is removed from the western market.
Indeed, during 2018, the company spent $11 billion buying components from American based CPU manufacturers.
Huawei Chairman Liang Hua claimed this month that Google has also expressed a desire to keep selling to the company.