Senators urge Biden to blacklist Honor as threat to national security

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Senators urge Biden to blacklist Honor as threat to national security

President of Huawei s Honor brand Edward M. Chang unveils the new Honor Vision screen equipped with Huawei's new HarmonyOS operating system at the Huawei Developer Conference in Dongguan on Saturday afternoon (09.02.03).

WASHINGTON Reuters - Republican Senators led by Marco Rubio called on the Biden administration to blacklist Honor, a former unit of embroiled Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, calling the company as a threat to national security.

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

By spinning honor, Beijing has effectively dodged a critical US export control, Rubio wrote in the letter signed by Senator John Cornyn and Rick Scott. In November 2020, Huawei sold the Honor brand to the lowest-end of its smartphone market.

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

The Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was placed on a national security blacklist by the Trump Administration in 2019, arguing the company posed a vulnerability to Huawei, which Huawei denies.

Being on the so-called entity list meant Huawei's US suppliers have had to acquire special licenses to sell key items like semiconductors to the firm.

As sanctions against the company began to bite amid tighter controls, Huawei said in November that it was 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 the company was spun off to evade U.S. export controls and to give Huawei access to blocked semiconductor chips and software.