China hits out at new Huawei curbs, says US can't be trusted

The US informed some Huawei suppliers of tighter conditions on previously approved export licenses.
The US informed some Huawei suppliers of tighter conditions on previously approved export licenses.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China blasted US President Joe Biden's administration for imposing new restrictions on national tech champion Huawei Technologies, saying the US "isn't a reliable country that is to be trusted".

The US informed some Huawei suppliers of tighter conditions on previously approved export licences, prohibiting items for use in or with 5G devices, according to people familiar with the move. The ban is effective as of this week, they said.

The measure would hurt both the US and China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday (March 12).

"It will severely disrupt the technological exchanges and trade exchanges of the two countries and the world at large, it will undermine the global industrial chains and supply chains," Mr Zhao said.

"The US should stop the suppression on Chinese companies immediately and treat Chinese companies in a fair, just and nondiscriminatory manner."

Chinese-listed telecom equipment stocks such as Fiberhome Telecommunication Technologies and Shennan Circuits fell more than 1 per cent on Friday, while rival ZTE was largely unchanged in Hong Kong and down about 1.8 per cent in Shenzhen.

The US rules create a more explicit prohibition on the export of components like semiconductors, antennas and batteries for Huawei 5G devices, making the ban more uniform among licensees.

Some companies had previously received licenses that allowed them to keep shipping components to Huawei that it may have then used in 5G equipment, while other firms were already subject to tighter restrictions.

Companies had complained about confusing rules after former president Donald Trump's administration added Huawei to the Entity List, requiring that US firms obtain government licences if they want to sell American tech and intellectual property to the Chinese telecommunications-equipment giant. US officials had deemed Huawei a national-security threat.