Technology

US investigating SMIC for violation of export rules for Huawei Mate 60 Pro chip

The United States Commerce Department is investigating whether SMIC illegally obtained US tools to make the Kirin 9000S chip. According to Alan Estevez, a senior official in the department, the chip maker potentially broke export rules, but the situation is still being assessed.

The announcement comes after a congressional hearing earlier this week and reports that the Biden administration is considering a ban on 4 more chip makers, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), Huawei’s provider of the 7nm FinFET SoC.

Huawei Mate 60 Pro
Huawei Mate 60 Pro

The Huawei Mate 60 Pro, along with a handful of other Mate and nova 12 phones, run on a Kirin 9000S chipset that was built despite the United States’ bans. Multiple times, the company has declined to comment officially on the matter.

The phone is seen as a symbol of China’s resurgence despite Washington’s ongoing efforts to cripple the company, wrote Reuters. Estevez was quoted that while they can’t talk about any investigations that may or may not be going on, their team is “certainly sharing concerns” that SMIC used American tools to manufacture a 5G-enabled chipset.

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