AMD Loses Millions, While Intel Profits: Huawei Caught Between US Trade Policy

AMD loses millions, while on the other hand Intel profits in the chip trade with the sanctioned Chinese giant Huawei, thanks to the 2020 license

by Sededin Dedovic
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AMD Loses Millions, While Intel Profits: Huawei Caught Between US Trade Policy
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Chip giant Advanced Micro Devices better known as AMD has entered into a battle with its competitor Intel over trade with Chinese technology company Huawei. The dispute centers on a license granted by the US government that allows Intel to sell certain chips to Huawei, despite the company being on a trade blacklist.

AMD claims this creates an unfair advantage for Intel and is seeking a similar license for itself. The crux of the problem lies in a license issued by the Trump administration in September 2020. This license allows Intel to continue supplying specific processor chips to Huawei, a privilege not granted to AMD.

The situation becomes more complex when you consider the context: Huawei was placed on a US trade blacklist in 2019 due to national security concerns. This usually restricts US companies from doing business with Huawei without special permission.

Although AMD reportedly applied for a similar license in early 2021 under the Biden administration, they have not received a response. This lack of response, along with Intel's continued business with Huawei, is causing significant financial pressure for AMD.

AMD's internal data reveals a sharp decline in their market share within Huawei laptops. In 2020, AMD processors had a respectable 47.1% share, but by the first half of 2023, that figure had dropped to just 9.3%. On the other hand, Intel's market share in Huawei laptops skyrocketed from 52.9% in 2020 to a commanding 90.7% in the same period.

These numbers represent a significant revenue disparity, with AMD estimating a $512 million loss compared to Intel in the last year alone. The situation has broader implications beyond just the two chip companies. Analyst Emma Hsu of Canalys, a technology market research company, points out the potential impact on Huawei itself.

With limited access to advanced processors, Huawei's ability to offer competitive laptops is becoming increasingly difficult. This could not only affect consumer choice, but also potentially hinder their overall market competitiveness.

Although neither AMD nor Huawei have commented on the situation, AMD's silence speaks volumes. Intel also declined to comment. Meanwhile, Microsoft's recent announcement of a chip partnership with Intel further underscores the complexity of the current landscape.

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