Huawei May be Forced to Buy-In Phone Chipsets to Comply With US Orders

By Gary Cutlack on at

A complicated supply chain riddle is perplexing the high-ups within Huawei, thanks to the US Commerce Department introducing new rules on who can sell what to overseas firms – including Trump's least favourite Chinese hardware manufacturer.

The crux of the matter is the creation of a licensing scheme that requires all potential suppliers to Huawei and Chinese manufacturers to apply for prior approval, allowing the US to veto the equipment used by certain chipmakers. This means Huawei's own-brand HiSilicon chipsets as built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company could be out of stock come time to build next season's smartphone upgrades; perhaps forcing Huawei to buy-in alternatives.

Analyst John Vinh believes this could be good news for Qualcomm, who thinks the US-based firm would be allowed to deal with Huawei, at least in the consumer world of smartphones if not within communications infrastructure. Failing that, Huawei devices with MediaTek chipsets could be on the way. [Barrons via Techradar]