According to a Reuters report, a group of 14 Republican lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives on August 6 asked the US Commerce Department to add the former Huawei smartphone unit Honor to the government’s official economic blacklist.
Members headed by Michael McCaul, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, pointed out in a letter that Honor had previously been divested from Huawei. The Shenzhen-based telecommunications giant was blacklisted by the US in 2019 in an effort to keep American technology and software out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. The list bans certain companies from buying parts and components from US companies or using American technology without US government approval.
The letter also said Honor was sold to a Chinese state-run consortium, with the Shenzhen government owning the majority of shares.
The letter quoted analysts as saying that the sale of Honor gave Huawei access to the semiconductor chips and software it relied on and would have presumably been blocked had the divestiture not gone through.
In response, a spokesperson from the US Commerce Department said that the agency “is continually reviewing available information to identify potential additions to the Entity List.”
The Honor brand was born in 2013, targeting young consumers and insisting on maintaining a low-end price. In November 2020, Huawei issued a statement on the sale of Honor, saying that the deal was a self-help act jointly initiated by more than 30 of Honor’s agents and distributors. The acquirer is Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co., Ltd.
After the split, Honor has quickly resumed cooperation with US chipmakers, including Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc, and has also launched a new phone series.
At the end of July, Honor’s internal forum shows that, based on third-party data, the firm’s domestic market share continued to rise, reaching 14.6% to become one of the top three brands in China’s mobile phone market.