ARM 'stops' all work with Huawei after U.S. ban

Ann Santiago
May 23, 2019

"ARM is the foundation of Huawei's smartphone chip designs, so this is an insurmountable obstacle for Huawei", said Geoff Blaber, from CCS Insight.

An Arm internal memo leaked to the Beeb instructed all employees to cease "all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements" with Huawei and made it clear that this was as a direct result of the recent U.S. decisions to put Huawei on a list of companies United States companies aren't allowed to do business with.

An Arm spokesman said it was complying with the "latest regulations" by the USA government, but gave no further comment.

Huawei also uses ARM's designs for its recently unveiled Kunpeng chips.

ARM creates chip designs, which it then licenses to companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei.

Huawei's ambitions for the smartphone market have been dealt a serious blow according to leaked documents that suggest chipmaker ARM is suspending all activities with the beleaguered Chinese vendor.

Huawei said it valued its close relationships with its partners, but it recognized the pressure some of them are under "as a result of politically motivated decisions". ARM now has eight offices in the US and 6,000 workers.

It has been reported that the memo was sent out to workers on May 16 last week, and even with the 90-day temporary reprieve granted by the US, ARM employees have not been told they can resume work with Huawei. "No further comment at this time".

The chip designer is another big tech company that has stopped work with Huawei after the US Department of Commerce added Huawei to its "Entity List".

The Chinese company was added to the list because the U.S. government said it had information that suggested Huawei was engaged in activities that were contrary to USA national security or foreign policy interest.

The hits just keep on coming for Huawei.

Huawei is accused of posing a security threat to Western nations due to its alleged ties with the Chinese government. It was originally also partly owned by Apple in a joint venture. Huawei is free to continue using the existing chips with the licenses for now.

The U.S. later gave Huawei a 90-day license allowing it to continue conducting core business operations; the move was meant to give U.S. companies time to prepare for a broader ban.

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