Home North America US Lawmakers Attack Biden As Huawei Unveils Laptop Powered By Intel Chip

US Lawmakers Attack Biden As Huawei Unveils Laptop Powered By Intel Chip

US China

President Biden has come in for criticism from US lawmakers after China unveiled a laptop this week which was powered by an Intel AI chip. Huawei has unveiled on Thursday, its first AI-enabled laptop, the MateBook X Pro powered by Intel’s new Core Ultra 9 processor. This shocked and angered Republican lawmakers because it suggested to them that the Commerce Department had approved shipments of the new chip to Huawei.

“One of the greatest mysteries in Washington, DC is why the Department of Commerce continues to allow U.S. technology to be shipped to Huawei” Republican Congressman Michael Gallagher, who chairs the House of Representatives select committee on China, said in a statement to Reuters.

The US had placed Huawei on a trade restriction list in 2019 for violating Iran sanctions, part of a broader effort to hobble Beijing’s technological advances. Placement on the list means the company’s suppliers have to seek a special, difficult-to-obtain license before shipping to it.

Sources with the Biden administration have claimed that the chips were shipped under the pre-existing licence and are not covered by the recent restrictions on AI shipments to China. One such license, issued by the Trump administration, has allowed Intel (INTC.O) to ship central processors to Huawei for use in laptops since 2020. China hardliners had urged the Biden administration to revoke that license, but many accepted that it would expire later this year and not be renewed.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

The US also said on Wednesday that it had added four Chinese companies to an export blacklist for seeking to acquire AI chips for China’s military. The companies are “involved with providing AI chips to China’s military modernization programs” and military intelligence users, the Commerce Department’s Kevin Kurland, an export enforcement official, said at a US Senate subcommittee hearing on strengthening export control enforcement. The companies are LINKZOL (Beijing) Technology Co, Xi’an Like Innovative Information Technology Co, Beijing Anwise Technology Co and SITONHOLY (Tianjin) Co.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday that it opposed the US abusing the list and other export control tools to “contain and suppress” Chinese companies.

(With inputs from Reuters)