What just happened? With the US about to hit Huawei with new sanctions that prevent companies from supplying it with components made with US technology, both Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have filed requests for approval with the US Department of Commerce to continue dealing with the firm.
Back in May last year, Huawei was added to an entity list by the Trump administration that meant US companies could not do business with the Chinese giant without approval from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). In August, these restrictions were expanded to prevent Huawei from buying chips made by foreign manufacturers using US technology.
The new sanctions come into effect on September 15 and will impact Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, among others. The Korean companies count Huawei as one of their biggest customers when it comes to purchasing components. As such, the pair have recently made requests for licences from the US Department of Commerce.
"Many multinational semiconductor manufacturers including Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix made requests for an approval from the US Department of Commerce." said one high-ranking official from the South Korean government (via ETNews). "Regardless of whether these requests get approved or not, they took necessary measures before the US Government imposes its sanction on September 15."
Separately, we've heard that Samsung Display will also be applying for a license to continue trading with Huawei after next week. LG Display, however, reportedly does not intend to seek approval, at least not in the short term.
Every semiconductor company in the world uses some form of American technology in their manufacturing processes, so we can expect the sanctions to hit both Huawei and the industry as a whole.