“We’ve out innovated China”: US Commerce Secretary slams Huawei chip tech


The US secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has dismissed Huawei’s latest chip technology breakthrough powering its latest smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, which was released in August last year

In an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes”, Raimondo said smartphone is still not as advanced as American made chips, which shows that US sanctions against the company are working.  

Sanctions against Huawei first began in 2019 under President Trump, when US companies were banned from doing business with the Chinese giant without a licence. President Biden then upheld the sanctions, and tightened restrictions on the sale of semiconductors for 5G devices. 

“The export controls are working because that chip is not nearly as good, … it’s years behind what we have in the United States, she said. “We have the most sophisticated semiconductors in the world. China doesn’t. We’ve out-innovated China.” 

The smartphone is powered by a new Kirin 9000S chip manufactured by China’s top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), and developed by Huawei’s chip-design unit, HiSilicon. 

Although trade with China accounts for 750,000 US jobs, “we want to trade with China on the vast majority of goods and services,” Raimondo said. “But on those technologies that affect our national security, no.” 

Despite many chips being designed in the US, almost 90% are made in Taiwan. The extreme outsourcing of production exposed the fragility of the chip supply chain, and led to President Biden launching the CHIPS and Science Act in 2022. The US hopes investment from the CHIP act will result in a much-needed boost for US domestic chip manufacturing to decrease its reliance on other countries. 

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