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US Department of Commerce: Huawei chips not so great after all, sanctions prove effective

US Department of Commerce: Huawei chips not so great after all, sanctions prove effective Illustrative photo (getty images)

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that the chip used in the Mate 60 Pro phone of the sanctioned Chinese company Huawei is not as advanced as American chips, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the restrictions imposed by the United States, according to Reuters.

"What it tells me is the export controls are working because that chip is not nearly as good, ... it's years behind what we have in the United States, she said. "We have the most sophisticated semiconductors in the world. China doesn't," Raimondo said.

For years, Washington has been trying to deprive Beijing of advanced semiconductor chips and the tools needed to make them, out of concern that they would be used to bolster China's military capabilities.

Huawei was added to the sanctions list in 2019 due to concerns that it may be spying on Americans. This was supposed to force the company's American suppliers to seek licenses, which are difficult to obtain.

But its suppliers, including Intel, have received billions of dollars worth of licenses to continue trading with the Chinese company. Huawei's unveiling this month of its first AI-enabled laptop based on an Intel chip has sparked outrage among hardliners in China.

When asked if she was tough enough on big business, Raimondo replied: "I hold businesses accountable as much as anyone. When I tell them they can’t sell their semiconductors to China, they don’t love that, but I do that."

Sanctions against Huawei

Last year, Huawei shocked the world with a new phone equipped with a sophisticated chip. The Huawei Mate 60 Pro was hailed as a symbol of China's technological renaissance, despite Washington's continued attempts to undermine its ability to produce advanced semiconductors.

The United States is not satisfied with the fact that Huawei continues to produce advanced chips despite the sanctions and suspects that the company has organized a secret supply chain.

In early April, it was reported that President Joe Biden's administration plans to put pressure on the Netherlands to ban its chipmaker ASML from servicing some tools in China.