What happened: Tech companies worldwide including US chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm, mobile research firm InterDigital Wireless Inc., and South Korean carrier LG Uplus have restricted employees from informal conversations with Chinese telecom giant Huawei in response to the recent US blacklisting of the Chinese firm. These companies have told their employees to stop talking about technology and technical standards with counterparts at Huawei. Intel, Qualcomm, and InterDigital have issued internal guidance to employees to ensure they comply with the US ban on Huawei.
Why it’s important: Though the US Department of Commerce has barred American companies from doing business with Huawei without approval, it has not banned their contact with Huawei. The department also authorized US companies to interact with Huawei in standards bodies through August “as necessary for the development of 5G standards.” The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a New York-based professional association, lifted a ban that blocked Huawei employees from participating in peer reviews for its research papers last Monday after a storm of protest from China’s academia.