People pass by Sony Corp.'s headquarters building in Tokyo on Feb. 1, 2019. (Kyodo) 

Sony Corp. and chip maker Kioxia Holdings Corp. are seeking U.S. approval to export semiconductors to Huawei Technologies Co. despite Washington's imposition of sanctions on the Chinese telecom giant, sources familiar with the situation said Monday.

Sony and Kioxia are major supplies of Huawei, which has a high market share in the smartphone market. If they fail to win U.S. approval to supply Huawei, it could hit earnings at the Japanese firms.

U.S. export restrictions were fully put in place on Sept. 15, blocking Huawei from obtaining chips developed or produced using U.S. software or technology.

Washington's move to tighten the screws on Huawei has the potential to spill over to other Japanese firms, which, along with Sony and Kioxia, sold about 1.1 trillion yen ($10 billion) worth of components to Huawei last year.

Sony is known for image sensors, mostly for smartphones, while Kioxia, formally Toshiba Memory Holdings Co., is a major manufacturer of flash memory chips.

Last week, Kioxia postponed its Oct. 6 listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after heightened U.S.-China tensions clouded the business outlook.

A Huawei shop in Wuhan, China, as pictured on July 20, 2020. (Kyodo) 

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