Huawei disARMed: Key Apple and Samsung supplier turns back on Chinese giant

UK-based chip designer ARM has joined Google, Microsoft and EE in cutting back its partnership with Huawei.

According to the BBC, ARM informed staff of the decision to cease business with Huawei on May 16. The move is in order to comply with the recent US trade ban enacted by President Trump. While ARM is headquartered in the UK and Japanese-owned, the company believes the ban applies to them as its designs use US technology.

This is a big blow to Huawei as ARM designs the majority of chips in mobile phones today – from Samsung to Apple. The move would likely mean Huawei would not be able to continue to develop its own Kirin processors as they are based on ARM technology.

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The embattled Chinese tech giant is currently working on a new Kirin 985 mobile CPU. The new CPU is not expected to be affected by the ban, but further iterations are likely to be a different story. ARM is currently seen as having a strong relationship with China. The company were recently involved in setting up ARM China to better support the region. Huawei also announced a new research centre located very close to ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge.

ARM is the latest company is a long line of tech behemoths to start abandoning Huawei following the ban by the US Commerce Department. Google seemed to act first – revoking Huawei’s Android license. Microsoft removed Huawei laptops from its online store. On the day it unveiled a launch date for its 5G networks, EE confirmed it would not be selling Huawei 5G phones.

Companies will have to continue to make decisions about their future relations with Huawei. Many plans are likely to remain in limbo as uncertainty continues. Yesterday, the US Commerce Department granted Huawei a 90-day temporary license to continue its business with the country.

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