thursday, 10 october of 2019

Huawei

US reportedly plans to grant licenses for firms to sell goods to blacklisted Huawei

The U.S. government plans to soon issue licenses to American companies to sell certain goods to Chinese technology giant Huawei, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

The U.S. blacklisted the world’s largest telecom-equipment maker earlier this year, and restricted Huawei from doing businesses with American companies. Huawei has been accused of being a national security risk by Washington, which alleged that its equipment could be used to funnel data back to Beijing. The Chinese firm has repeatedly denied those allegations.

The administration of President Donald Trump in May granted Huawei a temporary reprieve which allows American firms to provide Huawei with nonsensitive goods as long as they get a specific license from the government. The reprieve was extended for another 90 days on August 19.

However, the government had received over a hundred applications for licenses as of late-August, Reuters reported, though none had been granted. That was despite Trump saying in June at the Group of 20 meeting that he would allow sales to Huawei where there are no national security conflicts.

That could change. The New York Times reported Trump gave the green light for approvals in a meeting last week.

Huawei is the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker and one of the leading players in the next-generation mobile networks known as 5G. It is seen as central to China’s ambitions in becoming a dominant player in 5G.

But it has also become a contentious point in the U.S-China trade war. Trump has said in the past that Huawei could be included as part of a broader trade deal.

Granting licenses for U.S. firms to sell to Huawei could smooth over tensions as a new round of trade talks kick off this week with media reports suggesting that the chance for a big deal is very low.

For its part, Huawei has been looking to wean itself off of American technology. It has its own line of chips for its smartphones and it recently released its own operating system called HarmonyOS. However, the company was forced to release its latest flagship phone, the Mate 30, without licensed Google Android software in international markets, because of the blacklist.

(Published by The New York Times, October 10 2019)
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