The administration previously indicated that it was considering not granting any new export licenses to companies such as Qualcomm Inc. QCOM -0.74% and Intel Corp. INTC -0.95% , which provide chips needed for smartphones and other devices. The action would cover products that use advanced 5G technology as well as older 4G products.
The new action would take that a step further by revoking existing licenses. It comes amid heightened U.S.-China tensions triggered by a suspected Chinese spy balloon traversing the U.S. and intelligence suggesting Beijing is considering provision of lethal aid to Russia for its Ukraine war.
“The policy that had allowed exports to Huawei, notwithstanding the entity listing, is being wound down,” said a former senior security official familiar with the administration’s policy deliberations. “The White House is now telling Commerce, ‘Cut off the 4G sales, the time has come to do more pain to Huawei, to try to finish their demise,’” the former official said.
Huawei was placed on the Commerce Department’s so-called entity list in 2019 by the office that oversees export controls, the Bureau of Industry and Security. The BIS cited potential national-security threats when it issued the punitive listing, which requires exporters to secure special licenses approving the sale of U.S. technology to the firm. U.S. officials say they are concerned China’s government could use Huawei’s telecommunications tech for spying.
Intel declined to comment. Huawei and Qualcomm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Huawei has said its products aren’t a national-security risk. The Commerce Department declined to comment.