Rubio calls on Biden to blacklist Huawei unit

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Rubio calls on Biden to blacklist Huawei unit

WASHINGTON, Oct 14 Reuters - Republican Senators led by Marco Rubio called on the Biden Administration to blacklist Honor, a former unit of embattled Chinese telecom giant Huawei, and about the firm as a threat to national security.

In a letter seen on Thursday Oct. 14 by Reuters, Hue described Honor as essentially an arm of the Chinese government with newly unfettered access to same U.S. technology that was effectively denied to Rubio. The letter adds their voices to a growing chorus of China hawks calling for the blacklisting.

By spinning off Honor, Beijing has effectively dodged a critical import control, Rubio wrote in the letter signed also by senators John Cornyn and Rick Scott. In November 2020, Huawei sold its smallest-end smartphone brand Honor to China.

By failing to act in response, the Department of Commerce risks setting a dangerous precedent and communicating to adversaries that we lack the capacity or willpower to punish blatant financial engineering by an authoritarian regime. Honor, Commerce, Huawei and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist by the Trump administration in 2019, arguing the company posed a national security threat, which Huawei denies.

Being on the so-called entity list meant Huawei's U.S. suppliers needed special licenses to sell key items like semiconductors to the firm.

As sanctions against the company started to bite amid tighter controls, Huawei said in November that it would be selling its budget smartphone unit, Honor, to a consortium of over 30 agents and dealers.

In August a group of 14 Republican Congressmen led by Michael McCaul, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Commerce Department to blacklist Honor, alleging that the company was spun off to evade U.S. export controls and to give Huawei access to blocked semiconductor chips and software