President Trump turns Huawei smartphones into rare goods (Part 2)
Software and equipment of American companies are important to chip manufacturing, which makes TSMC a weakness for Huawei.
In the past, the Chinese company was one of TSMC’s biggest customers. Without TSMC, Huawei will not be able to have the Kirin chip for the Mate 40.
Before the Huawei sanctions went into effect in September 2020, the company accelerated the purchase of stock chips and other components. Thanks to high volume orders, Taiwan’s exports hit a record high in August.
However, C.C.Wei, the CEO of TSMC, has confirmed the company is no longer shipping to Huawei.
Huawei’s Kirin 9000 chip is manufactured on a 5-nm process, containing 15.3 billion transistors, 30% more than the Apple A14 Bionic. According to Yu, currently only TSMC and Samsung can meet the technology of 5 nm chip manufacturing. In addition to Huawei, Apple is also a major partner of TSMC. Its newly launched iPhone 12 is using TSMC’s A14 Bionic chip.
Not only facing hardware difficulties, but also the restrictions imposed by the US government also make many new Huawei phones unable to access gadgets like Google Play, Gmail or Google Maps.
According to Ben Stanton, an analyst with research firm Canalys, many mobile retailers and service providers outside of China are avoiding stockpiling of Huawei products over the past year.
“They are worried about whether Huawei will still have the capacity to enter the smartphone market in the next two or three years. Huawei has to show an image of a strong, stable company no matter what’s going on behind the scenes, ”says Stanton.
Huawei is still dominating the domestic market and is gaining support at home. According to Canalys’s statistics, sales in China in the second quarter of 2020 have contributed to helping this giant overtake Samsung to become the largest smartphone supplier in the world.
Even so, Huawei’s handset business isn’t the only one that has come under pressure from Trump. Many European countries, such as the UK and Sweden, have banned domestic mobile carriers from using 5G equipment from Huawei and ZTE.