The Chinese government has said that Apple and other US companies could be placed on an «unreliable entity list» if the United States does not stop the “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese companies such as Huawei.
Beijing is apparently ready to take a series of countermeasures against the United States, according to a source speaking to China’s Global Times newspaper. The source also mentioned halting the purchase of Boeing aeroplanes.
On Friday, the Trump administration renewed its executive order banning for another year, which bans American businesses from working with companies that pose a national security risk such as telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE and the smartphone maker Huawei. Huawei has repeatedly denied that it is a security risk.
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The impact of the renewed ban is already shaping industry: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has reportedly stopped new orders from Huawei.
TSMC is the world’s biggest contract chipmaker and a key Huawei supplier, and had announced plans to build a US-based plant and was “following the U.S. export rule change closely”. The company has denied this, saying it does not disclose order details and added the report was “purely market rumour.”
Although Huawei declined to make a statement when the extended ban was announced, the company has since said: “In its relentless pursuit to tighten its stranglehold on our company, the US government has decided to proceed and completely ignore the concerns of many companies and industry associations.”
“This decision was arbitrary and pernicious, and threatens to undermine the entire industry worldwide. This new rule will impact the expansion, maintenance, and continuous operations of networks worth hundreds of billions of dollars that we have rolled out in more than 170 countries” the company continued.
The most prominent effects of the ban to consumers have been that Google cannot provide Huawei with access to Google Mobile Services and therefore popular apps such as Maps and YouTube are not available on Huawei phones.
Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have spiked in recent weeks, with officials on both sides suggesting a hard-won deal that defused a bitter 18-month trade war could be abandoned months after it was signed in January.
The United States “uses state power, under the so-called excuse of national security, and abuses export control measures to continuously oppress and contain specific enterprises of other countries” said an anonymous spokesperson on the Chinese government commerce ministry’s website.
Debate has also been sparked in the UK over whether the government should use Huawei’s 5G technology, with some Conservative MPs arguing that Huawei should have a limited role in building the country’s network because of national security concerns. Huawei has called such criticism “groundless.”
Additional reporting by Reuters