back to article US warns Chinese chipmakers: Sell to Russia, suffer Huawei's fate

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has suggested Chinese companies consider Huawei's recent history before they sell their wares to Russia. In an interview with The New York Times, Raimondo singled out China's top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), and said sales to Russia could see …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Much though I disagree with anyone supporting Russia, I also think the US oversteps their bounds by a good mile or few when they try to tell other nations who they can and cannot sell to.

    The Americans are NOT the "world police" who get to dictate policy to everyone else on the planet. Regardless of what their egos tell them.

    1. jemmyww

      But it does seem reasonable for America to say "if you do business with Russia then we won't do business with you"

      That's not exactly dictating anyones policy but their own. Market power is what allows the US to do that. If the targeted company feels that it is more profitable to do business with Russia then that's still a decision they can make. Unless of course their own government tells them they're not allowed to make such a decision, and then they're in a bind, but it would really be the Chinese government dictating policy.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I don't like it, but I think you're right.

      2. crayon

        "That's not exactly dictating anyones policy but their own."

        You haven't RTFA have you?

        Primary sanctions are "US warns US chipmakers: Sell to Russia, suffer Huawei's fate"

        Secondary sanctions are "US warns Rest Of The World chipmakers: Sell to Russia, suffer Huawei's fate"

        How is that not "dictating anyone's policy but their own"?

        In any case sanctions are an act of war, and under international law - which all UN members are obliged to follow - only the UN can approve of sanctions. For the US, might is right and only it's enemies have to follow international law.

        1. Sitaram Chamarty

          > How is that not "dictating anyone's policy but their own"?

          because "suffer Huawei's fate" should actually be read "we won't do business with you", so it is still within it's bailiwick

          you got fooled by a symlink :) (if you're a unix/linux guy you know what I mean, if you're not you have my apologies for a crappy joke!)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Huawei's Fate" is not "we won't do business with you."

            It is "We won't do business with you and we'll chase every nation in the world to demand that they not do business with you and anyone who doesn't toe the line will just get added to the list along with the rest of you."

            1. PriorKnowledge
              Thumb Up

              Fair is fair

              Sanctions are essentially the right to refuse a sale. Short of convincing every other country to dump the legal fiction of Intellectual Property, the US can and will always be able to use this approach to legitimately sanction any country it wants, provided it seems vaguely reasonable to other allies. The citizenry of allied countries are often also in on it, with every corporation fearing a boycott if they do not play along. This is the key component (governance by consent) which would fall over if anyone tried to sanction another country without just cause in the eyes of its citizens.

              The whole of the western world is cancelling Russia. It is now at the point where China seems to be having a rethink about their alliances. That pretty much says it all.

        2. Bitsminer Silver badge

          ...only the UN can approve of sanctions...


          The UN "may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures". (Article 41, UN Charter.)

          The history of sanctions (look it up, try "bing") is longer than the UN history. Sanctions have been applied by countries, peoples, tribes, organizations, and consumers since forever.

    2. LovesTha

      It is them playing global bully not global cop (they aren't going to arrest or bomb Indian banks that deal with Russia), the question is are they a bully on the right side? This time they probably are....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, then, I guess I just fundamentally have an issue with bullies, be they on a schoolyard or in international politics.

        Not that I see much difference in the observed behaviors of a kindergarten school yard and the House of Parliament in Canada. :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. are they a bully on the right side?

        they're on their own side, but it just happens that their side very closely fits the right side. Democracy (some) prosperity, peace, all good for business, good for America. While pretending you're mad and screaming loudly and waving a big nuke dick to prove your point - not so good for business. Well, ok, to clarify, I refer to Russia, not the US ;) The US prefer to speak softly but carry their big dick in their hand... or something like that. By the way, is it Friday yet?!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Re: re. are they a bully on the right side?

          It so happens that war is also (very) good for America. Something tells me US wanted this to happen way more than Russia and they pulled out all the stops to make it happen.

      3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        > It is them playing global bully not global cop

        You are falsely equating Retaliation-against-attack, with Attack.

        Do try to keep Contexts in your head. The context here is an unprovoked military attack on a peaceful nation with massmurder-scale fatalities and hospitalizations of ordinary citizens (& soldiers) going about their ordinary lives, by a nation loudly declaring it has an empire and therefore rights to lethally impose its will on any third-parties it sees fit to unilaterally designate as Subjects or Tributary States.

        You seem to have forgotten about this and its direct causal link to this response. Or else are pretending that the USA's action is a spontaneous unilateral unconnected decision to suddenly and arbitrarily bully someone.

        Neither stance is valid.

    3. localzuk Silver badge

      It isn't being world police though. It is saying "If you want to do business with the USA, making use of IP owned by US companies, then you have to follow the rules the USA puts in place".

      So, if you want processors whose designs are owned by companies in the USA? You do what the USA says.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. The Americans are NOT the "world police"

      well, but really, they ARE the 'world police', whether people like it or not, it's just a fact. And, while 'not ideal', and 'biased', and 'with vested interests'... hard to guess what what the world would look like with no 'team America' (or any other 'team X') to rush to every fire, real and / or imaginary. I'm trying to imagine the 'Chinese world order' and I don't like what I'm seeing internally there, to say the least, and to imagine how they would fashion the outside world to their liking, and I don't need to imagine 'Soviet world order', because I've lived through that one, and seems it's on (stuttered) replay as we speak.

      An unpoliced world... possibly we'd all live in peace and harmony, and in good health (you know, coca-cola bad for your teeth, etc). Another, alternative image: dozens and dozens of 'micro-wars', and some of them not so micro, think 'tactical nukes' to gain 'tactical' advantage in Indo-Pakistani front, or M. East. I'm not sure those little hitlers would be so restrained without 'gentle' persuasion by Uncle Sam... Yes, I'm not suggesting they're all just dumb, but I do think they often think locally, because out of sight, out of mind, without consideration for a 'broader picture' and then, 'somebody's got to' do it for them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re. The Americans are NOT the "world police"

        ... and I didn't know how quickly (24 hrs) life would imitate art, re. little hitlers, etc. A minor piece from the beeb, today:

        India says it accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan on Wednesday, blaming the incident on a "technical malfunction" during routine maintenance.

        Pakistan's air force said the missile travelled at Mach 3 - three times the speed of sound - at an altitude of 12,000m (40,000ft) and flew 124km (77 miles) in Pakistani airspace before crashing.

    5. GBH

      Then go to Siberia if you like Russia better than the Western free world. More than that cannot be stated to such brainwashed comments not reflecting what they mean. I like Ronald Reagan: Weakness invites aggression, and Russia has proved that several times now. I want to live in peace with Russia, know many Russians who think exactly the same, but live under a dictator-like regime. We must fight that, maybe not with weapons, but with sanctions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will be in the contract

    When a US based tech provider, say Intel or AMD, sells an export restricted technology, it includes a restriction that the technology will not be sold to a sanctioned country directly or in another product. US law requires this for sanctions compliance, and is part of Intel's export license to sell to Huawei. Huawei violated that contract by selling products with US tech to Iran. The big difference is that the US took it upon themselves to yank the export licenses to enforce the violated contract rather than having Intel enforce the contract. This is handy as Intel would need to sue for breach of contract, and that would require secret intelligence. The US has that, so could enforce directly.

    Huawei or SMIC sign up contractually when they buy the kit, so it's not like they don't already agree to the terms (but perhaps like me they don't read them).

  3. Zolko Silver badge

    tit for tat

    I'm wondering whether some Chinese authorities are thinking: "Try that, and Taïwan will suffer Ukraine's fate ". It's not as if we hadn't been warned about such possibilities, all they need is an excuse.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot Changes Everything Radically

    If one is unhappy and opposed to such as many would see and warn be Western demagoguery and free market bullying and Big Brother policing or any other predominantly self-serving activity [for there are certain to be others], the sharing and selling of new age technology and novel products to the East, rather than the West, transfers immediate present advantage and mutual future creative benefits delivery to other parties and private/public/pirate alliances elsewhere.

    IT aint difficult rocket science, pure raw common sense.

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