Home AI US Sanctions Fail to Cripple Huawei Chipset Supremacy: HiSilicon Rises to Global Top 5

US Sanctions Fail to Cripple Huawei Chipset Supremacy: HiSilicon Rises to Global Top 5

by S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D

Despite crippling US sanctions designed to stifle its technological progress, Huawei’s chipmaking arm, HiSilicon, has defied expectations to become the world’s fifth largest chipset manufacturer, according to a new report by Counterpoint. This remarkable feat, achieved with a 3% global market share, demonstrates the limitations of American sanctions and underscores the resilience of Chinese tech innovation.

The report, based on Q3 2023 data, paints a fascinating picture of the mobile processor landscape. While giants like Qualcomm (40%), Apple (31%), and MediaTek (15%) dominate the market, Huawei’s impressive ascent stands out. This achievement is particularly noteworthy considering the extensive US technology ban imposed in 2019, restricting access to crucial American components and technology.

The sanctions were ostensibly driven by national security concerns, but their intended crippling effect has seemingly backfired. Instead of hindering HiSilicon’s progress, it has fueled a remarkable surge in domestic innovation and self-reliance. This is further solidified by UNISOC, another Chinese chipmaker, securing a 2% market share and solidifying China’s presence in the top ranks.

Huawei’s pre-sanctions status as a smartphone industry leader, trailing only Samsung and Apple, serves as a testament to its inherent technological prowess. The company’s ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity, developing its own chipsets and workarounds, is a powerful demonstration of China’s growing technological independence.

The rise of HiSilicon, and by extension Chinese chipmakers, has significant implications for the global tech landscape. It represents a shift in power dynamics, challenging the previously unchallenged dominance of American tech giants. As China continues to invest heavily in domestic chip production and innovation, the gap between East and West is likely to narrow further.

In conclusion, US sanctions against Huawei’s HiSilicon have demonstrably failed to achieve their intended goal. Instead, they have inadvertently fueled Chinese technological self-reliance and propelled HiSilicon to a top-five global position. This remarkable story of resilience and innovation is a glimpse into the future of the tech industry, where China’s role as a major player is no longer a question, but a reality.

Shayne Heffernan

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