Trump administration cuts off Chinese technology giant from chip suppliers

Donald Trump has vowed that China will receive consequences for the way the coronavirus crisis was handled.

On Friday, Trump delivered on that promise, pulling the trigger on an order that blocks shipments of semiconductors to China’s state-owned technology giant, Huawei Technology, from global chipmakers. 

Cutting China off

According to the Commerce Department, the move was meant to “strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.”

The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the US’s high level of dependence on foreign manufacturing and exposed the US’s vulnerability to manipulation at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross explained that “Huawei and its foreign affiliates have stepped-up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions through an indigenization effort.  However, that effort is still dependent on U.S. technologies.”

This is not how a responsible global corporate citizen behaves. We must amend our rules exploited by Huawei and HiSilicon and prevent U.S. technologies from enabling malign activities contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” Ross concluded.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that the additional sanctions will “stop foreign semiconductor makers whose operations use American software and technology from shipping products to Huawei without first getting a license from U.S. officials.”

China retaliates

The Chinese Communist Party has been under intense pressure for months as global leaders have criticized the Chinese government’s secretive mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Donald Trump has been particularly harsh, igniting new tensions in an already strained relationship.

China has reportedly already begun retaliating, saying that it will place US companies on an “unreliable entity list,” which entails halting planned purchases of Boeing Co. airplanes and imposing their own restrictions on U.S. tech companies such as Apple, Cisco Systems, Qualcomm.

Chinese state media outlets have also ramped up their attacks on Donald Trump, with state-owned media outlet Global Times writing on Friday that Trump “seems to be losing his mind right now.”

“Trump is like a giant baby on the brink of a meltdown,” said Shen Yi, professor of international at  Fudan University in an editorial published by the Times. A slew of editorials this week from the Global Times and other Chinese media outlets sought to threaten the US and Taiwan with further retaliation and warned that any moves the Trump administration makes against China threaten the “international rule of law.”

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