Chinese chip maker SMIC seeks permission from US to supply Huawei

China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) has asked for approval from the United States to continue supplying Huawei Technologies, state media outlet Beijing News reported on Tuesday, citing the company.

SMIC told the newspaper that it had, in accordance with regulations, applied in the US to continue supplying Huawei, and reiterated that it will abide by relevant laws and regulations in all countries and regions.

SMIC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The restrictions imposed by Washington in May on Huawei, barring major semiconductor companies from supplying chips or providing services to the Shenzhen-based company, go into effect on Tuesday.
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Companies hoping to continue doing business with Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and China’s biggest smartphone vendor, must now first receive a licence from Washington.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the most important manufacturer for Huawei’s high-end smartphone chipsets, said in July it would cease supplying the Chinese firm come the deadline.
Micron Technology, a maker of DRAM memory chips, also said it will no longer supply Huawei.
Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek said last month it had applied for US permission to continue supplying Huawei.

Huawei is a major customer for SMIC and generates 20 per cent of the chip foundry’s revenue, according to an analysis from Bernstein Research.

SMIC, however, is incapable of producing Huawei’s advanced Kirin line of chip sets, and the foundry still relies of equipment from US companies, which may also cease servicing Huawei as the US trade sanctions take effect.

SMIC itself has fallen under scrutiny from Washington. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the Trump administration is considering placing restrictions on the company similar to those it placed on Huawei, barring US companies from servicing and supplying it.


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