Qualcomm wins licence from US Department of Commerce to provide Huawei 4G chipsets

Huawei secureds a limited exemption from strict new rules imposed by the US in August

Qualcomm has won a licence from the US Department of Commerce to provide Huawei with selected 4G chipsets.

Neither party has confirmed what specific chipsets will be provided, but this decision might just ease some of the pressures on Huawei’s supply chain.

“We received a license for a number of products, which includes some 4G products,” a Qualcomm spokeswoman told Reuters.

She didn’t specify which products Qualcomm can sell, saying only that they have to do with mobile devices. She also said Qualcomm has other license applications pending.

Since the imposition of sanctions in May 2019, Huawei has amassed a stockpile of chipsets, both for its mobile and cellular businesses, these will eventually run out. Its remaining options are to focus on domestic fabrication alternatives (either in-house or contract), or to strike deals with third-party chipset designers like MediaTek and Qualcomm.

The recent win of Joe Biden in the 2020 US presidential elections has buoyed Huawei, with the firm’s UK chief Victor Zhang suggesting the UK should reverse its decision to ban so-called “high-risk” equipment from 5G networks.

“As a global company we want to work with governments to ensure they have the policies to secure growth,” he said.

“The decision was a political one motivated by US perceptions of Huawei and not those of the UK. This is not really motivated by security, but about a trade war between the US and China.”

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