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Arm said to have suspended business with Huawei dealing crushing blow

Arm booth logo MWC 2019

U.K. tech firm Arm has told its staff to halt business deals with Huawei, according to the BBC citing internal documents it has seen.

The chip maker has apparently told employees to pause “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements,” with Huawei and its subsidiaries in compliance with the recent U.S. trade sanctions.

Arm’s staff were also told they were not permitted to “engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters with Huawei, HiSilicon or any of the other named entities.” Arm believes it is affected by the restrictions the U.S. government has placed on Huawei as its designs contain “U.S. origin technology.”

Though Huawei develops many of its own chips in-house, the company relies on Arm’s license for certain architectures and designs. This license is critical to the development of smartphone CPUs in GPUs — the vast majority of smartphone makers use Arm’s designs. Losing Arm’s support would severely impact Huawei’s ability to produce smartphones and other mobile products.

huawei p30 pro vs huawei mate 20 pro rears side by side 19

Last week, President Trump declared a national emergency over threats presented by foreign telecommunications equipment and manufacturers. At the same time, Huawei was put on the U.S. government’s “Entity List” — a list of companies which can’t conduct business in the U.S. with government approval.

The U.S. later gave Huawei a 90-day license allowing it to continue conducting core business operations; the move was intended to give U.S. companies time to prepare for a broader ban. However, an Arm source told the BBC its staff had been ordered not to start working with Huawei or its subsidiaries again, even during this 90-day period.

Huawei is accused of posing a security threat to Western nations due to its alleged ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has denied any wrongdoing.

Android Authority has reached out to Arm and Huawei for comment and will update this story should we receive a response.

Read next: Huawei Trump debacle: the story so far

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