Technology May 18

China, Huawei decry toughened US blockade 

The world will suffer from American ‘abuse’ of power as it tries to curtail business of tech giant it considers a threat to national security

by Nadeem Xu and Mark McCord
China, Huawei decry toughened blockade 
Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping speaks during the Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2020 at the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, China's southern Guangdong province on May 18, 2020. Chinese technology giant Huawei on May 18 assailed the latest US move to cut it off from semiconductor suppliers as a "pernicious" attack that will sow chaos in the global technology sector and other industries. NOEL CELIS / AFP

(ATF) China and Huawei have hit out as the US increased sanctions on the telecommunications giant, calling Washington’s actions an abuse of power and market principles.

In a strongly worded statement from the Ministry of Commerce, officials urged the US on Sunday to immediately stop using export control measures against its companies and pledged to take all necessary measures to protect what it described as the legitimate and lawful interests of Chinese businesses.

"It is a violation of market principles and fair competition. The US government, in the name of national security, used national power and abused export control measures to crack down on specific companies in other countries," the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

The comments came after the US Department of Commerce issued new rules, due to take effect in September, that will block Huawei and its suppliers from using US technologies to design and manufacture semiconductors. Washington considers Huawei’s technology a threat to its national security.

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At risk is Chinese companies’ reliance on chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), the largest provider of processors to Shenzhen-based Huawei.

The ministry said that the US government is ignoring the basic rules of international economics and trade and that it also poses a serious threat to the safety of global industrial and supply chain.

A statement from Huawei described the US’ actions as a “relentless pursuit to tighten its stranglehold on our company” that would put in jeopardy “communications services for the more than three billion people who use Huawei products and services worldwide”.

“It will have a serious impact on a wide number of global industries. In the long run, this will damage the trust and collaboration within the global semiconductor industry which many industries depend on, increasing conflict and loss within these industries.”

The company said the US was “leveraging its own technological strengths to crush companies outside its own borders”, a move that would be detrimental in the long run to US interests.

Chinese sources said that if the US finally implemented its plan, China would launch a strong counterattack or seek to limit the activities of US companies such as Qualcomm, Cisco, Apple and Boeing, according to a report by the Global Times.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Saturday that China would firmly defend the legal rights of its own enterprises and urged the US to immediately stop its "unreasonable suppression" of Chinese companies such as Huawei.  

The Foreign Ministry also said in the statement that the Trump government's actions "destroyed global manufacturing, supply chains and value chains".