GOP Lawmakers Slam Biden After Trump-Era Exemption Results In Huawei Unveiling Laptop With New Intel AI Chip

Republican lawmakers have expressed their discontent with the Joe Biden-led administration after tech giant Huawei, a major Chinese telecom company, unveiled a new laptop powered by an Intel Corp. INTC AI chip.

What Happened: The unveiling of the MateBook X Pro, Huawei’s first AI-enabled laptop, has sparked criticism from Republican lawmakers, reported Reuters. The laptop is powered by Intel’s new Core Ultra 9 processor.

Despite being placed on a trade restriction list in 2019, Huawei has been able to continue receiving Intel chips for its laptops under a special license issued by the Donald Trump administration in 2020. This license is set to expire later this year and many anticipate that it would not be renewed.

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Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Ariz.) on Thursday, took to X, formerly Twitter, and expressed her concerns, stating that the laptop’s release indicates that the Commerce Department has approved shipments of the new chip to Huawei.

She said, “It is unacceptable that the Biden Administration is actively working to undermine U.S. national security by allowing our greatest strategic adversary access to cutting-edge American technology.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) echoed Stefanik’s sentiments, saying, “These approvals must stop,” adding, “Two years ago, I was told licenses to Huawei would stop. Today, it doesn't seem as though the policy has changed.”

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The report cited a source familiar with the matter saying that the chips were sent out under an existing license. According to both the source and another individual, these chips fall outside the scope of recent widespread limitations on shipping AI chips to China.

Why It Matters: The Biden administration has been under pressure to take a tougher stance on Huawei and other Chinese tech companies. Earlier this year, the administration was considering adding several Chinese semiconductor firms linked to Huawei to the blacklist, a move that could have significant implications for the global tech industry.

Since the Sept. 15, 2020 restrictions, U.S. companies have been prohibited from either supplying products or providing services to Huawei. The U.S. has raised worries about China potentially gaining a competitive advantage through its 5G technology.

However, despite the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China, American chipmakers like Intel continue to maintain a significant presence in the Chinese market, with Beijing remaining a crucial market for these companies.

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsTechGeneralbenzinga neuroConsumer TechCore Ultra 9Donald TrumpElise StefanikHuaweiJoe BidenMateBook X ProMichael McCaulUS sanctions
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