Saturday , July 24 2021

U.S. Senator asks companies about selling hard disk drives to Huawei

The Huawei logo will be displayed at the IFA Consumer Technology Fair in Berlin, Germany September 3, 2020. REUTERS / Michele Tantussi / File Photo

A senior Republican U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the executives of Toshiba America Electronic Components (6502.T), Seagate Technology (STX.O), and Western Digital Corp (WDC.O) if the companies were supplying Huawei (HWT.UL) with foreign-produced hard disk drives.

Senator Roger Wicker, the rank-and-file member of the U.S. Department of Commerce, said a U.S. Commerce Department regulation in 2020 sought to “remove Huawei’s ability to purchase articles that are the direct product of designated U.S. technology or software, such as hard disks. “

He said he was “engaged in a fact-finding process … about whether leading global hard disk drive vendors are complying” with the scheme.

Western Digital said in a statement to Reuters that it “stopped shipping to Huawei in mid-September 2020 to comply with new rules issued by the Department of Commerce. We are requesting a permit to ship products to Huawei in September 2020. Our application is still pending. . “

The other companies and Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wicker asked the companies if they believed the regulation “prohibits shipping hard disk drives to Huawei or any unlicensed branch” and the status of all licensing applications for shipping products to Huawei.

Wicker also copied trade secretary Gina Raimondo over the letter, urging her action “against any company found to circumvent a part” of the rule, saying Huawei “seriously harms national security.”

The Department of Commerce’s action in August also focused on its access to commercially available chips.

In August, the administration of former President Donald Trump also added 38 Huawei branches in 21 countries to the US government’s economic blacklist, increasing the total to 152 branches since Huawei was first added in May 2019.

Washington has urged governments around the world to oust Huawei, arguing that the company would transfer data to the Chinese government for espionage. Huawei denies espionage for China.

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