Briefing: US lobbying efforts behind easing of Huawei ban were extensive
Jul 2, 2019
What happened: The semiconductor industry launched a concerted effort to lift the blanket ban on exports to Huawei, Bloomberg reported citing anonymous sources. Following reports in June that Qualcomm and Intel lobbied independently against the ban, the Semiconductor Industry Association orchestrated a full court press campaign in high-level meetings and a signed letter, Bloomberg reported. The companies argued that the blanket ban is making the US look like an unreliable trade partner, damaging the chipmakers’ chances of investment while Huawei could source parts from other countries, according to the report. They asked for a target ban of specific technologies.
Why it’s important: US President Trump announced that he will lift some restrictions on the Chinese telecoms giant on Saturday. The Huawei ban has been in place since May 16 and has roiled the semiconductor industry across the world. China is the world’s largest buyer of computer chips. In 2018, Huawei spent $11 billion on American semiconductor products. In the four weeks after the ban was announced, NeoPhotonics, a US chipmaker, saw its share value fall by more than 20%, and Qualcomm stocks fell 18%.