What you need to know
- A report claim that Qualcomm has received permission to resume business with Huawei.
- Selling the Honor sub-brand was a prerequisite for the move.
- Qualcomm began lobbying to sell to Huawei a few months ago.
It's been a long and grueling battle for Huawei, dealing with the ongoing trade restrictions put on by the U.S. government. Only a few months ago, new restrictions were put on companies who were taking advantage of a legal loophole to continue supplying the Chinese OEM. There may be some hope for Huawei, as a report from China claims that Qualcomm is now able to resume selling chips.
According to the report, one of the prerequisites for Qualcomm to provide chips to Huawei was that the OEM had to offload the Honor brand, as Qualcomm did not have the capacity to provide for the manufacturer in its current state. In an ironic twist of fate, Huawei has already decided to sell of the Honor brand, for a reported $15.2 billion to a Chinese consortium led by Digital China and the Shenzhen government. It's not clear if the sale was prompted by the mere possibility of resuming business with Qualcomm, but it's likely the sanctions imposed by the U.S. forced Huawei's hand.
The report claims that Qualcomm has received the licenses to resume business with Huawei, which is no longer in a position to build its own HiSilicon Kirin chips found in some of the Huawei's best smartphones this year. This fall closely in-line with last week's claims that the U.S. was allowing chip makers to supply components to Huawei, including Samsung OLED displays and Sony's imaging sensors.
The caveats were that the technology could not be related to the Chinese company's 5G business. The latest move in this back and forth could mean that Huawei has access to both Qualcomm and TSMC, the latter of which manufactured Huawei's Kirin chips.
Take this with a grain of salt, as there has been no official word from Huawei nor Qualcomm on obtaining such licenses, which the chip-maker applied for months ago.