Will new US export controls block Huawei’s 5G ambitions?

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As previously posted on my blog, the May 19th Commerce Department export rules are part of the US effort to limit Huawei’s access to semiconductor chips needed to build components in their 5G infrastructure. The new rules prohibit chipmakers located mostly in Taiwan and South Korea from using U.S. origin machines and software to produce semiconductors for Huawei.

Huawei relies on Taiwan and South Korean chipmakers to make the actual chips – however the chipmakers are now subject to the US export rules since the machines and software used are based off American machines from US companies and technology.

These new rules were meant to close a loophole that allowed semiconductor foundries to manufacture chips for Huawei as long as the manufacturing occurred outside of the U.S.

The U.S. government views Huawei as a national security threat because their hardware could potentially allow them to access sensitive information and hand it over to the Chinese government – a claim denied by Huawei.

If you have any questions how the new US export control regulations will impact your ability to do business with Huawei or one of its entities, contact export control attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

UK planning to remove Huawei equipment from its 5G networks.

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According to a Financial Times article, the UK is going to remove Huawei from their 5G network and make efforts to remove all Huawei components in the next 3 years. The move by the UK should be welcome news for the US, as Trump administration officials have been pressuring the UK to not use Huawei for their 5G network.

The US has argued that Huawei could build backdoors into network infrastructure and assist in spying efforts by the Chinese government. In the past, the US threatened intelligence efforts between the two countries could be limited if the UK does proceed with the Huawei 5G network.

The recent news developments shifts away from previous UK policy limiting how much Huawei equipment could be used in the 5G networks. Yesterday’s announcement signals a significant shift away.

Other online sources reporting the news also claim the UK response is partially due to public sentiment about China and their handling of the corona virus pandemic.

If your company exports to Huawei and have any questions about compliance with the changing export rules, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Taiwan customs officers seize exports of face masks.

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According to the Focus Taiwan website, airport officials seized 3,020 surgical face masks from a Taiwanese citizen heading to Singapore in late February – the largest seizure since export restrictions on face masks were put in plate in late January due to the corona virus.

Each Taiwanese citizen is permitted to export 250 masks per trip. After seizing the face masks, Customs returned 250 to the passenger. The seized masks will be sent for use by the government in their efforts to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

I usually don’t post about non-US customs seizures, but found this article interesting for several reasons:

  1. No mention of secondary inspections, no seizures followed by a letter from CBP with threats of a civil penalty, etc.
  2. Sounds like the seizure process in Taiwan is slightly more painful than in the US and it appears the traveler didn’t miss her flight. If this happened in the US and there was a restriction on the export of face masks, I’m sure she would have been detained, all her belongings searched and then held in detention until they missed their flight.
  3. While it seems like this would never happen in the US since it appears to lack due process for a taking by the government, and while I am usually very supportive of individuals who have their goods (especially currency) seized, this time I am siding with the Taiwanese government on this one.

Interesting to note, the Taiwan customs reported confiscating over 171,450 face masks over 851 seizures since the rule was passed on January 24th. Besides export control efforts at the airport, Taiwan Post (equivalent to our USPS), has also seized outbound shipments of surgical masks destined for overseas. The ban on exports ends on April 30th unless extended. I also read another article from Focus Taiwan that Taiwan is expected to ramp up production of face masks to about 13 million per day.

Anyways, interesting read and the first time I’ve heard of a customs seizure at an airport in a foreign country.

Questions about customs seizures? Give me a call or text, David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei’s Google maps alternative.

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As you are aware, Huawei’s inclusion on the US entity list means no access Android and the Google Play Store. As a result Huawei has been looking at alternative companies to replace the Google Maps application – and last week, found their replacement.

According to Reuters, Huawei reached a deal with Dutch mapping company, TomTom which will see TomTom providing Huawei access to their navigation, mapping and traffic information.

With the TomTom information, Huawei will create their own proprietary apps for their own Harmony Operating System.

If you have any questions how Huawei’s inclusion on the BIS entity list will impact your business or if you are in need of export compliance, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Department of Justice charges Indonesian citizen and companies with exporting goods to Iranian airline Mahan Air.

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According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) filing found here, the DOJ charged an individual Indonesian citizen and several Indonesian based companies for violating US export control of goods to Iran. Specifically, the charged individual and companies worked together to export goods originating from the US to Iranian airline Mahan Air. The complaint says the Indonesian national and companies shipped goods owned by Mahan Air through the following Indonesian companies: PT MS Aero Support (“PTMS”), PT Kandiyasa Energi Utama (“PTKEU”) and PT Antasena Kreasi (“PTAK”) .

The charge against the defendants include (i) unlawful and attempted export to an embargoed country, (ii) conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and (iii) false statements.

If you do not want to be the subject of DOJ investigation, call experienced trade controls attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com. Initial consultations are free, contact us to figure out how to protect you and your company from the many hazards of exporting US goods overseas.

Huawei shipping phones made without US components.

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As a result of the current export ban on US companies to do business with China’s Huawei, Huawei’s latest flagship (the Mate 30) is now shipping without US parts.

According to arstechnica.com, the new Mate 30 includes flash memory from Samsung (Korea) or Japan’s Toshiba and chips from US based Skyhook and Qorvo have been replaced by Huawei’s own HiSilicon versions.

As the article mentions, while sourcing non-US hardware isn’t a problem for Huawei, the biggest problem is software and app support. Huawei cannot use Google apps or Google’s Play store for users to download apps. As a result, popular apps like Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Lyft and Amazon are not found on the Mate 30 phones.

In addition to including Huawei on the sanction list, the White House may consider putting Huawei on the Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDN) list, effectively prohibiting Huawei from the US banking system.

If you have any questions about the Huawei export ban, or are interested in updating your company’s compliance program to become compliant with the multiple landmines that occur when exporting, contact experienced trade compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei admits they are impacted by US blacklist.

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According to a recent Forbes article, Huawei has confirmed the U.S. blacklist in place since May is impacting their ability to offer Google software onto their mobile phones. The Forbes article also says Huawei has not finished their in house operating system.
The black list that took effect in May restricts Huawei from access to the US supply chain for software and hardware. While Huawei has been able to source non US goods for the hardware, they have not been able to replace Google’s Android software.
While our blog earlier indicated Huawei would be launching their own in-house operating system, it is not yet ready for smart phones. Huawei has launched their Harmony OS, but that software is limited to smart TVs.
While not mentioned in the article, without Google’s Play Store, Huawei users will likely have to download APK files from online if they want to install their aps onto a new Huawei phone.
Things for Huawei will also get worse next month – this November marks the expiration of a temporary exemption on certain suppliers.
If you  have any questions how your company may be impacted by the trade restrictions with Huawei, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by text/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Newest Huawei P30 smartphone ships with Google Android 10.

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Despite a current ban on US companies from supplying technology to Huawei, the new P30 Pro features a 6.47 inch display, 4 cameras and Google’s  Android 10 (Android 9 “Pie”was the last Android version to be released with a name associated with a confectionary food).
While Google was exempt from export restrictions imposed against Huawei and the supplying of software for new products. Future Huawei smartphones such as the 5G Mate 30 Pro may include the Huawei developed Harmony OS.
If your company does business with Huawei and you want to be sure you are in compliance, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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According to Bloomberg – Huawei’s CFO, Wanzhou “Sabrina” Weng was arrested in Canada on December 1st over Huawei’s potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Sabrina Weng is the deputy chairwoman and daughter of Huawei founder Zhengfei Ren.

The arrest prompted China’s embassy in Canada to demand Sabrina be released and for the US and Canada to “rectify wrongdoings” and to “to clarify the grounds for the detention, to release the detainee and earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the person involved”.

It is not known when or if Sabrina will be expedited to the US.

Check back for more updates as they are available. If you have any questions about your company’s compliance with US export controls and or want to ensure your company is in compliance with all the sanctions and laws regarding exporting, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

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Credit: Courtesy of ZTE Corporation

The US will end the ban on ZTE buying American software and hardware.

The terms of the deal require:
1. $1 billion penalty;
2. $400 million in escrow to be forfeited in the event of future export violations during the 10-year probationary period;
3. Compliance team in ZTE that will report to the company’s new chairman;
4. ZTE must change board and management team in 30 days.

Various online articles covering the US/ZTE deal ask what the US gets out of the ZTE deal.

None of the news sources mention that this deal saves ZTE and will lead to business for US suppliers of components and software to ZTE:

-Acacia Communications Inc
-Oclaro,
-Lumentum Holdings,
-FiberHome
-NeoPhotonics Corp
-Inphi Corp
-Finisar Corp
-Analog Devices Inc
-Xilinx Inc
-Qualcomm
-Qorvo Inc.
-Alphabet Inc

If you or anyone you know has questions about the ZTE deal or export compliance questions, feel free to contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.