Sony and Kioxia seeking approval to resume supply to Huawei

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Japan’s Sony Corporation and memory chipmaker Kioxia Holdings Corporation have reportedly approached the US government for approvals to resume supplying components to Huawei Technologies Corporation Limited.

If the request is approved, the companies can resume distribution like other tech companies that recently obtained licenses from US authorities.

As US-China relations remain their worst in decades, by alleging that the telecoms giant transfers user data to the Chinese government for surveillance purposes, the US authorities have driven governments around the globe to push out Huawei.

By market share of image sensors for smartphones, Sony ranks as the top supplier in the world. Huawei is estimated to account for around a fifth of the Japanese company’s image sensor revenue of approximately $9.5 billion, making it the second-biggest buyer after Apple.

Kioxia Holdings Corporation, a spinoff of Toshiba is the No. 2 flash memory chip manufacturer in the world and a supplier to Huawei. Around 40 percent of the company’s revenues are generated by smartphone memory chips, with Huawei accounting a critical percent of the total.

Kioxia cautioned that memory chip oversupply and lower prices could be caused by US curbs on Huawei. As U.S-China uncertainties cloud the global chip market, it recently shelved a bid for a multi-billion dollar listing.

A Sony spokesman said the company was following all the rules but could not comment on the particular client. A spokesperson for Kioxia refused to comment as well.

Recently, US authorities had permitted the semiconductor giant Intel Corporation to continue the distribution of specific products to the Huawei.