Though US trade sanctions are still in effect, Huawei Technologies will have an additional 90 days to buy from American companies so it can wrap up work with existing customers, according to a Reuters report.
The world’s largest telecom gear supplier received a “temporary general license” shortly after the ban that was initially set to expire today, 19 August. The US Commerce Department will now allow those permissions to extend into November, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
In May, the Trump administration added Huawei and 68 of its affiliates to the Commerce Department’s Entity List amid national security concerns that it could be conspiring with Chinese spy networks. This measure restricts American companies from trading with the Chinese supplier barring government approval (though some have since figured out workarounds to sell to them anyway). These sanctions along with other US allegations of trade theft and fraud all coincide with a mounting US-China trade war, leading Huawei, who denies these accusations, to claim the US is resorting to a smear campaign since its companies can’t compete.
In July, President Donald Trump floated the possibility of easing restrictions, though who has any idea what the president’s word means anymore. The administration later clarified it intends to issue trade licenses to American companies on an individual basis provided “there is no threat to US national security,” though what that means exactly has yet to be established. For its part, Huawei has said all this talk hasn’t changed much.
One source told Reuters that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump have a call planned for this weekend to discuss Huawei, so this deferment could still change ahead of that original deadline. Huawei did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment on the matter.
Even with the reprieve, the company would only be allowed to purchase American parts to service orders made before the ban. Any manufacturing of new products would still require additional licensing from the US government. [Reuters]
Featured image: Andy Wong (AP)