The US Government has set Huawei in its sights and last week added the embattled company to an “Entity List,” accusing the company of “engag(ing) in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest.” Although Commerce has since delayed the addition for 90 days, repercussions of the decision continue to rain down upon Huawei.
The latest blow comes as the BBC reports that ARM, a UK firm that designs mobile processors and licenses that technology, has issued internal memos ordering “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” to comply with the US Government order. The memos were issued on May 18th, a few days before the 90 day reprieve, and ARM isn’t commenting publicly on the memos, so it’s unclear if they’re still in effect, although the BBC is reporting that a source within the company is saying that they haven’t been told not to start working again with Huawei. While ARM is a UK company, its designs include “US origin technology,” and therefore are affected by the government ban.
The ARM decision would not affect Huawei’s use of current chipsets, or even the upcoming Kirin 985 chipset developed by Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon, but work on future chipsets could be affected.
Huawei has said that they are already working on alternatives to Google’s Android operating system and Google services that would be blocked by the inclusion on the Entity List, but getting around a ban on ARM would be much more difficult.
For its part, Microsoft has remained silent on the issue so far, but it did remove a Huawei laptop, the Matebook X Pro, from its Store.Further reading: ARM, Huawei, US Government