A top Huawei executive has stated that China’s chip industry will be “reborn,” as a result of US sanctions.
This is as the Chinese telecommunications giant confirmed a breakthrough in semiconductor design technology.
Huawei’s rotating chairman, Eric Xu, has spoken out against Washington’s tech export restrictions on China.
According to an official translation of Xu’s comments during a press conference, “I believe China’s semiconductor industry will not sit idly by, but will take efforts around… self-strengthening and self-reliance.”
Semiconductors have been a flashpoint in the larger US-China battle for technological dominance.
In 2019, Huawei was placed on the Entity List, a U.S. blacklist that barred American companies from selling technology to the Chinese company.
This included chips for 5G products (super-fast next-generation mobile networks). In 2020, chip restrictions against Huawei were tightened, effectively cutting it off from the latest cutting-edge chips required for its smartphones.
The United States then imposed stricter chip restrictions last year, aiming to deprive Chinese firms of critical semiconductors used in artificial intelligence and other advanced applications.
The United States is worried that China will use advanced semiconductors for military purposes.
According to Huawei’s Xu, these developments may benefit, rather than hinder, China’s domestic semiconductor industry.
“I believe China’s semiconductor industry will get reborn under such sanctions and realize a very strong and self-reliant industry,” Xu said.
According to experts, the latest round of US restrictions is likely to harm China’s semiconductor industry, as certain chips made using American technology are not allowed to be exported to China.