Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) [0981:HK] has applied for a license from the Trump administration to continue supplying the blacklisted Huawei, as reported by Reuters on September 15, citing Beijing News. SMIC reiterated that the firm has strictly acted in accordance with US laws and rules. The White House’s order to ban unlicensed overseas companies that use US technologies on chip-making from supplying products to Huawei has come into effect on September 15.
According to Reuters, SMIC generates 20% of its total revenue from businesses with Huawei currently, citing Bernstein Research. On May 15, the US Commerce Department tightened the scrutiny on Huawei, requiring any foreign chipmakers to seek US permission before supplying US techs contained products to the Chinese firm, which would go into effect in 120 days. So far, Taiwan-based Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) [TSM:US], South Korean SK Hynix [000660:KS], US-headquartered Micron Technology [MU:US] have said to no longer supply Huawei. Meanwhile, Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer MediaTek [2433:TT] has also applied for a US license to continue supplies. Facing the potential chip shortage, Huawei reportedly is shifting focus from high-end phones to automobiles and other products that could be powered by low-end chips.