Trump Administration Widens Huawei Dragnet

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday introduced that it was proscribing Huawei’s capacity to purchase a wider array of chips made or designed with American gear and software program, tightening the boundaries it has positioned on the Chinese telecom large because it seems to cripple its capacity to promote smartphones and telecom gear around the globe.

The rule expands on earlier restrictions the United States enacted in May, which prohibited corporations around the globe from utilizing American software program or machines to make chips designed by Huawei. The new adjustments apply that rule to extra semiconductors, masking any chips made overseas with American gear.

The Commerce Department additionally stated it was including 38 associates of Huawei to an inventory of companies restricted from working with American corporations.

“We continue to monitor the situation as we assess the potential impact,” stated Rob Manfredo, a Huawei spokesman, in an e mail.

The transfer comes as tensions flare between Washington and Beijing over the United States’ actions to crack down on China’s know-how sector. In latest weeks, the Trump administration’s efforts have expanded from telecom producers like Huawei to shopper cellular purposes. This month, it moved to curb Americans’ dealings with TikTok, the viral video app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, and WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging service.

The announcement is the latest attempt to limit the reach of Huawei, which Trump administration officials say poses a national security threat because of its ties to Beijing. American officials have warned that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s networking technology to gain access to sensitive data around the world, an accusation that the company denies.

In a Monday appearance on Fox and Friends, President Trump accused Huawei of spying on the United States, without presenting evidence of specific espionage, and said the U.S. would not share intelligence with other countries that use the Chinese company’s telecom gear.

“We don’t want their equipment in the United States because they spy on us,” he said. “And any country that uses it we’re not going to do anything in terms of sharing intelligence. Huawei is a disaster.”

The Commerce Department last year restricted the Chinese firm’s ability to buy chips from American suppliers, which led Huawei to try to design more of them in-house. But Huawei still needs outside manufacturers to mass-produce chips to its specifications, and those companies depend on equipment and software developed in the United States. These were the business relationships targeted by the Commerce Department’s latest moves.

One such manufacturer for Huawei — the global chip juggernaut Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company — said last month that it would comply with the new U.S. restrictions and stop shipping to Huawei.

But the wording of May’s action by the Commerce Department did not appear to stop chip makers from producing chips that would first be sent to third parties or agents who might then sell to Huawei.

The rules set in May also specifically barred companies from supplying items to Huawei that were produced to its design specifications, which seemed to allow Huawei to continue buying off-the-shelf semiconductor products that were not customized to its needs.

“There was always this complaint that the language wasn’t broad enough,” said Douglas B. Fuller, a professor at City University of Hong Kong who studies the technology industry in East Asia. The move on Monday seems to be an attempt by the Commerce Department, he said, “to cover all the bases.”

The Commerce Department official did not offer specific examples of Huawei having taken steps to evade the rules issued in May, which are scheduled to go into effect in September. But the official said that the changes announced Monday were the result of conversations with third parties about the initial rules.

David McCabe reported from Washington, and Raymond Zhong from Taipei, Taiwan.

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