ARM 'stops' all work with Huawei after USA ban

Fredrick Soto
May 23, 2019

While existing Huawei smartphones running Android will still get updates, its not clear that future handsets would ship with Google services installed.

The BBC earlier reported that an internal memo to ARM employees said business with Huawei would be suspended.

Huawei phones like the Mate 20 Pro rely on ARM technology.

The Chinese company was added to the list because the USA government said it had information that suggested Huawei was engaged in activities that were contrary to USA national security or foreign policy interest.

ARM's suspension of business with Huawei will be another major blow, and analysts told BBC, they believe it will impact the Chinese company's ability to develop its own chips. Those firms use ARM's technology and the ARM instruction set to build their own systems-on-a-chip (SoC) to power phones, tablets, and other devices. Following suit with several other United States semiconductor companies, ARM is suspending its business operations with Huawei. As a result, Huawei might have to rebuild its future processors from scratch in a very short amount of time, and that will most likely be a huge and hard undertaking.

While this doesn't explicitly confirm the existence of the Arm staff memo reported by the BBC, it now seems likely that Arm's business deals with the Chinese firm are affected by the USA sanctions.

ARM CEO Simon Segars told FOX Business' Liz Claman that the company will comply with Trump's ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Chinese company said the firm "recognizes the pressure" some of its partners are under. Losing ARM as a business partner is particularly troublesome for Huawei, given that so many of its products use hardware that is based on ARM's designs. "We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved, and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world".

No one from ARM, one of the world's biggest chip designers alongside Intel, was immediately available for comment. Other than issuing a statement that said it was "complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the U.S. government" ARM declined any further statement on the topic.

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