What you need to know
- Gina Raimondo is President Biden's nominee for Commerce secretary.
- Raimondo has suggested no intention to remove Huawei from the Entity List if she's sworn in.
- A spokesperson from the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to Raimondo's statement, calling out the U.S. government's "oppression" against Chinese companies.
Joe Biden's presidency is well underway, and he has already taken to his new position by pulling back on many of the policies made during the Trump administration while continuing to appoint new members to his cabinet and other leading positions. One decision he doesn't seem to be budging on is the ban on companies like Huawei that have been placed on the Entity List for allegations of threats to U.S. security. Biden's nominee for Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, has stated (via Bloomberg) that she sees "no reason" to remove the company from the list, strongly suggesting the unlikely nature of the scenario.
I understand that parties are placed on the Entity List and the Military End-User List generally because they pose a risk to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. I currently have no reason to believe that entities on those lists should not be there. If confirmed, I look forward to a briefing on these entities and others of concern.
That's not good news for Huawei, which has been dealing with U.S. sanctions for quite some time. After largely losing access to its high-end Kirin chips, the company has been struggling to produce flagship smartphones like the P40 Pro, which is one of the best Huawei phones you can't get. Recently Huawei had to give up ownership of its sub-brand, Honor, in order to keep it from facing the same fate as its parent company, a move that sees Honor free to challenge companies like Apple.
Huawei had hoped that the Biden administration would be more lenient than Trump, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has previously referred to the decision by the U.S. government to restrict Chinese companies as "oppressive," a sentiment that still stands today. "We urge you to stop this wanton oppression against Chinese companies."
Other Chinese companies that had faced government sanctions include ZTE as well as Xiaomi, the latter of which recently placed a lawsuit against the U.S. government for placing it on an investment block.