U.S. officials gave a green light to companies looking to sell microchips to the blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei, helping to fuel the firm’s vehicle parts business.
The approvals are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
That’s all according to two people familiar with the matter. Huawei is the world’s biggest maker of telecoms gear, but it has been stumbling under Trump-era bans against it buying U.S. products.
However, the sources exclusively told Reuters that in recent months the U.S. has given approval to suppliers to sell Huawei chips that go in car parts, including video screens and sensors.
Auto components generally aren’t considered sophisticated and Huawei has pivoted toward items that are less likely to fall under U.S. bans.
The Biden administration has continued to deny Huawei chips that would go in 5G-capable devices like smartphones.
The U.S. has gone to great lengths to suppress Huawei’s key business in 5G-related products and pushed allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks, citing concerns Beijing could use Huawei gear for spying.
When asked about the licenses, a U.S. Department of Commerce spokesperson said the government continues to apply licensing policies to "restrict Huawei's access to commodities, software, or technology for activities that could harm U.S. national security
and foreign policy interests."
A Huawei spokeswoman declined to comment on the licenses.