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US expands restrictions to stop Huawei accessing silicon

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The US Commerce Department is extending the restrictions it announced in May, accusing the Chinese firm of finding ways round them.

The plan is to stop the Chinese vendor obtaining semiconductors without special licence.

Reuters reports this includes chips made by non-American companies that have been developed or produced using US software or technology.

The administration is to add 38 Huawei affiliates in 21 countries to the US government’s economic blacklist, the sources said, raising the total to 152 affiliates since Huawei was first added in May 2019.

Evasive action

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business the restrictions on Huawei-designed chips imposed in May “led [Huawei] to do some evasive measures. They were going through third parties,” Ross said. “The new rule makes it clear that any use of American software or American fabrication equipment is banned and requires a license.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the rule change “will prevent Huawei from circumventing US law through alternative chip production and provision of off-the-shelf chips”.

Huawei did not immediately comment.