Huawei laptop with Intel AI chip angers US lawmakers

Huawei laptop with Intel AI chip angers US lawmakers

US Republican lawmakers on Friday criticized US President Joe Biden’s administration after sanctioned Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei this week unveiled a laptop computer powered by an Intel artificial intelligence (AI) chip.

The United States placed Huawei on a trade restriction list in 2019 for violating sanctions against Iran, part of a broader effort to hamper Beijing’s technological advances. Getting on the list means the company’s suppliers must seek a special, hard-to-obtain license before shipping their products there.

One of these licenses, issued by the administration of then US President Donald Trump, allowed Intel to deliver central processors to Huawei for use in laptops since 2020. Chinese extremists had urged the The Biden administration to revoke this license, but many have reluctantly accepted that it will expire. later this year and will not be renewed.

Photo: AFP

Huawei’s presentation on Thursday of its first laptop computer with artificial intelligence, the MateBook shipments of the new chip to Huawei.

“One of the biggest mysteries in Washington, D.C., is why the Commerce Department continues to allow the shipment of American technology to Huawei,” said U.S. Representative Michael Gallagher, chairman of the House Select Committee. American representatives on the Chinese Communist Party, in a press release. statement.

The chips were shipped under a pre-existing license, a source familiar with the matter said.

They are not covered by recent widespread restrictions on shipments of AI chips to China, the source and another person said.

The Commerce Department and Intel declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The reaction is a sign of growing pressure on the Biden administration to do more to thwart Huawei’s rise, nearly five years after it was added to a list of trade restrictions.

In August last year, it shocked the world with a new phone powered by a sophisticated chip made by sanctioned Chinese chipmaker SMIC, becoming a symbol of China’s technological resurgence despite Washington’s efforts to cripple its ability to produce advanced semiconductors.

At a US Senate subcommittee hearing this week, export enforcement official Kevin Kurland said Washington’s restrictions on Huawei had had a “significant impact” on its access to technology American.

He also stressed that the goal was not necessarily to prevent Huawei from growing, but to prevent it from misusing American technology for “malicious activities.”

However, these remarks failed to stem the frustration of China Republican hawks following the announcement of Huawei’s new laptop.

“These approvals must stop,” U.S. Representative Michael McCaul said in a statement to Reuters. “Two years ago I was told that licensing to Huawei would cease. Today, it doesn’t seem like the policy has changed.”

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