China accuses US of strangling smartphone group Huawei

Washington imposes increased sanctions of the telecom giant amid tech row

China has accused the United States of breaking “international trade rules” after Washington ramped up sanctions on smartphone giant Huawei.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump’s administration expanded its curbs on the Chinese telecom group by blocking it from buying semiconductors using US technology or software.

The move closed potential loopholes that could have allowed Huawei access to chips through third parties and tightened restrictions rolled out in May.

‘Trade rules’

“What the US has done violates international trade rules, undermines global industrial chains, and will inevitably undermine its own interests,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a media briefing on Tuesday.

Just hours earlier, the new sanctions were unveiled by the Department of Commerce, which added another 38 Huawei affiliates in 21 countries to the US government’s economic blacklist. 

Up to 152 affiliates have been slapped with sanctions since 2019 as the tech row between Washington and Beijing escalates.

Sensitive data

As a New Cold War grips the world’s two leading economies, the White House is determined to strangle Huawei’s supply chain, alleging that the company could hand over sensitive data to Beijing. 

The Shenzhen group has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Still, if Huawei is starved of crucial chipsets, its “smartphone business will likely disappear,” Jefferies Group, the US multinational investment bank, warned.