The Biden administration is considering entirely cutting off Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. from U.S. suppliers over national-security concerns by tightening export controls targeting the firm, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move — should the administration move forward — would mark the latest salvo in the high-stakes clash between the world’s two largest economies as U.S. policy makers seek to counter China’s industrial policy they say threatens Western interests.
The Trump administration in 2019 added Huawei to the Department of Commerce’s “Entity List,” a roster of foreign companies deemed to be national-security threats. However, the Commerce Department later agreed to grant licenses to U.S. companies allowing them to sell technology to Huawei as long as it wouldn’t put national security at risk.
The Biden administration is now considering no longer granting such licenses, although no decision has been made, the people familiar said. The deliberations were previously reported by Bloomberg and the Financial Times.
The U.S. items exempted from the Huawei blacklist include less advanced chips used in the company’s lineup of smartphones and personal computers. Huawei has been unable to offer a 5G-enabled smartphone because U.S. restrictions cut it off from the most advanced chips needed to power such devices.