Huawei’s AI laptop unveiling sparks criticism from US Congress: Report

Republican US lawmakers criticized the Biden administration on Friday for its handling of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

April 13, 2024 09:41 am | Updated 09:54 am IST

Huawei’s MateBook X Pro launch ignites criticism from US Congress.

Huawei’s MateBook X Pro launch ignites criticism from US Congress. | Photo Credit: AP

Republican US lawmakers criticised the Biden administration on Friday for its handling of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, as per a report published by Reuters on Saturday.

Huawei recently introduced a new laptop powered by an Intel AI chip. The United States placed Huawei on a trade restriction list in 2019 for violating Iran sanctions, aiming to curb Beijing’s technological advances. Despite this, a license issued by the Trump administration has allowed Intel to supply processors to Huawei for laptops since 2020, a move that has drawn criticism from China hardliners.

Huawei’s unveiling of its first AI-enabled laptop, the MateBook X Pro, powered by Intel’s new Core Ultra 9 processor, has stirred controversy. Some lawmakers were shocked and angered, believing the Commerce Department had approved shipments of the new chip to Huawei.

Republican Congressman Michael Gallagher, chair of the House select committee on China, expressed frustration, stating, “One of the greatest mysteries in Washington, DC is why the Department of Commerce continues to allow U.S. technology to be shipped to Huawei.”

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However, a source familiar with the matter clarified that the chips were shipped under a preexisting license and are not covered by recent broad restrictions on AI chip shipments to China. Despite this, pressure is mounting on the Biden administration to take stronger action against Huawei’s technological advancements.

At a Senate subcommittee hearing, export enforcement official Kevin Kurland noted the significant impact of Washington’s restrictions on Huawei’s access to U.S. technology. He emphasized that the goal was not to halt Huawei’s growth but to prevent its misuse of U.S. technology for “malign activities.”

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