Mediatek, on Friday, formally asked the US government for permission to continue providing Huawei processors for mobile devices. A necessary move in view of the tightening of the measures against Huawei that will come into force from 15 September next.
It should be remembered that in mid-August the temporary general license (TGL) that allowed Huawei to continue to do business with US companies expired and that starting from mid-September the new restrictions imposed by the US government will make the situation even more complicated. As for the chips – and leaving out the equally relevant aspect of software updates – TSMC has already previously confirmed that from mid-September it will no longer supply the Kirin and Mediatek chipsets, it could be a precious ally; but everything is subordinated to the acceptance of the license application, a hypothesis that does not appear so obvious at the moment.
The purpose of the new restrictive measures is in fact to prevent Huawei from using US technology through the contribution of third parties: Mediatek is a Taiwanese (and not American) company but with the new rules it would not be able to continue to have commercial relations with Huawei. The company confirmed:
Mediatek reaffirms its compliance with the orders and rules of international trade and has already requested authorization from the United States in accordance with the legislation
One wonders what the possible scenarios will be if the United States does not accept Mediatek's requests: Huawei, as mentioned, will soon no longer be able to count on TSMC's contribution to produce its Kirin; even if Mediatek is out of the game, for the Chinese giant the alternative will be represented by an even more uphill road that passes through the reconstruction of a non-US supply chain, which does not use US technology. Much easier said than done, and a stake that coincides with Huawei's own ability to continue producing and marketing smartphones.