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The United States blocks TSMC HiSilicon Kirin from supplying SoCs to Huawei

The US government's ban on Huawei ended this year for one year. To no surprise, the Trump administration decided to extend the ban by another year. The ban was never fully enforced as the United States continues to extend Huawei's temporary general license so that it can keep its licenses to distribute Google Mobile Services on devices that were introduced prior to the ban. The main problem is new smartphones because Huawei cannot use GMS for these smartphones. This led the Chinese giant to develop their own portfolio of apps. The U.S. government is now escalating trade restrictions even further. Things can get very complicated for Huawei, as the US is preventing many chip manufacturers from supplying Huawei with HiSilicon Kirin SoCs.

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce changed an export rule to block the delivery of chips to Huawei. The move comes to "strategically target Huawei's acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology." Minister of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: "Huawei and its foreign subsidiaries have intensified their efforts to undermine these national security restrictions through indigenization efforts." In other words, the US government believes the Chinese giant has bypassed the rules of the previous ban. Therefore, the rules are tightened.

The new rules prevent TSMC from sending Kirin chipsets for Huawei.

The new ban prevents foreign manufacturers from using American software and technology. This is impossible for Huawei, since the company is on the list of US companies. The main effect caused by the new rules is that TSMC, which is used to make most of the Kirin chipsets, can no longer keep shipping chips. The Kirin lineup was very important to Huawei, after all, it allows the company to continue pushing smartphones. They are also critical to the company's 5G expansion.

Companies like the Shanghai-based SMIC are safe from this new rule and have manufactured the Kirin 710A chip from Huawei. Another company that may be able to continue developing Kirin chips is STMicroelectronics. In contrast to the Android license, the new rule is much more difficult for the Chinese giant to circumvent. The company must first rethink its Kirin strategy or rely on current chipsets.

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