The siege on Huawei may be easing off a bit – at least as far as its mobile division is concerned. The Financial Times reports that companies will be able to supply Huawei with components for non-5G uses.
More specifically components that won’t be used in the company’s 5G networking equipment. “It has been indicated to us that chips for mobile devices are not a problem,” says an executive from an Asian semiconductor company.
Samsung Display already has a license and Mr. Lee, an analyst at Jefferies, writes that Sony and OmniVision have been given the green light to supply Huawei with image sensors. Sony’s imaging department warned of decreased sales, in part because it was forced to stop shipments to Huawei.
Mr. Lee believes that Qualcomm and MediaTek could also receive licenses, which would solve Huawei’s chipset shortage. The company was previously barred from buying chips from MediaTek (which is headquartered in Taiwan) as those were produced using technology developed in the US.
There’s no word on whether TSMC will be allowed to resume shipments, which would enable Huawei to continue using its in-house Kirin chipsets. However, industry experts express doubts that even Qualcomm and MediaTek will receive licenses and point to the current administration’s “erratic policy decisions”.
Similarly, it’s not clear if mobile software and online services would be deemed okay – this might have massive implications for Huawei and Honor devices regaining access to Google Mobile Services.
Huawei’s mobile business accounts for more half of its revenue and it may resume operations if the chip supply chain is restored. However, the network equipment division will have to rely on the stocks it amassed before the ban as the US still considers it a threat to national security.