Ever since the US government put Huawei on its entity list, the Chinese tech giant has been singing two tunes. On the one hand, it complains about the unfair treatment and baseless accusations, bemoaning how the US is trying to force it into submission. On the other hand, it also warns how it can be independent, which would eventually spell trouble for US companies that will lose such a big customer. It turns out, however, that Huawei can’t fully yet be free of American products, making the Huawei P40 Pro stand in defiance to the US ban.
Things are, of course, not really that simple. In a nutshell, being put on the list means US companies are forbidden from doing business with Huawei. The US Department of Commerce, however, has been making some exceptions and extending the full implementation of the ban. That said, it’s still surprising to see some US-made components inside Huawei’s latest flagship.
A teardown of the P40 Pro at the Financial Times’ behest reveals some critical parts made by Qualcomm, Skyworks, and Qorvo, all of them US companies. The parts they provide aren’t just simple components either. These are RF front-end modules that are attached to the antennas, allowing phones to make phone calls.
This could definitely alarm the US government as it defies the bans it put in place to pressure both Huawei and China to cave in to its demands. While the US has granted temporary licenses for companies dealing with Huawei, it is only for the sake of supporting existing products and services, not for putting them inside new ones.
Granted, other critical parts of the Huawei P40 Pro do seem to originate outside of US territories, like Samsung NAND Flash storage. It isn’t clear how the US government will react to this revelation or if it can even directly control the Huawei P40’s rollout since those don’t even touch the country’s shores. It could very well sanction Qualcomm instead or revoke any temporary license it granted to the embattled Chinese company.