Tuesday 18 August 2020 9:29 am

Huawei: US ramps up sanctions as China tensions grow

The US last night announced a fresh wave of sanctions on Huawei as it ramped up its efforts to prevent the Chinese tech giant from accessing American technology.

The White House has already banned Huawei from buying American products and blocked vendors from using US technology to manufacture components for the controversial telecoms firm.

Read more: Huawei pushes for document release in trial of finance chief

The latest crackdown means Huawei will not be able to buy chips made using US technology, even if they were not designed specifically for the Chinese firm.

The move also adds a further 38 companies linked to Huawei to a trade blacklist.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the additional sanctions were needed as Huawei had “continuously tried to evade” previous restrictions rolled out in May.

The new measures mean suppliers will need to apply for a licence to sell their products to Huawei, even if they are an “off the shelf” design.

“As we have restricted its access to US technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness US technology in a manner that undermines US national security and foreign policy interests,” said US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

“This multi-pronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei’s ability to do so.”

The tightening of sanctions will further sour relations between Washington and Beijing, which have sunk to new lows in recent months.

The US has spearheaded a campaign against the tech firm, accusing it of spying on behalf of the Chinese government. Huawei has always denied the accusations.

But tensions have since spread to other parts of the tech sector, with US President Donald Trump announcing a ban on popular social media platform Tiktok and Chinese messaging app Wechat.

Read more: Vodafone shares slide as operator ‘calculates cost’ of Huawei ban

China today hit back at the latest sanctions on Huawei, urging the US to stop discrediting Chinese companies.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said his country would continue to take all the necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese companies.