Back in May, ARM reportedly suspended its deals with Huawei. This came almost immediately after the US announced its ban on the Chinese tech giant, and after other US companies also cut ties with the brand. It looks like it’s fine for ARM to conduct business with the brand after all. According to an internal review, the company is exempt from the US trade ban.
As it turns out, ARM’s most recent chip development process takes place within the UK. A spokesperson for the company also confirmed that it can continue to supply Huawei’s HiSilicon chips with “the Armv8-A architecture, as well as the next generation of that architecture”. These have been determined to be of non-US origin.
In addition to that, it may be the case that both companies have never actually cut ties with each other. According to an EE Times report, ARM “maintains that nothing has really changed, despite what BBC reported last May”. At any rate, the company is now openly working with Huawei, and can supply the latter’s HiSilicon chips “without breaking applicable laws and regulations”.
It’s an interesting turn of events, nevertheless. At the very least, Huawei is safe on the hardware side of the smartphone business. The software business remains shaky, as even if it can still run a version of Android, Google’s Mobile Services remains inaccessible.