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US Temporarily Loosens Restrictions on Huawei Products

The executive order comes amid an escalating trade war between the US and China

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Logo of Huawei is seen on the advert in front of the local offices of Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

The US Commerce Department has announced loosening of some of the restrictions Washington placed on Huawei equipment last week, which made it difficult for American companies to do business with the Chinese tech giant.

Although Huawei does not do much business in the US, the company is the sole provider of networking equipment to many rural American internet providers. Those companies have said it will take time – or may be impossible – to replace their Huawei technology with a rival’s, CNN reported.

The department on Monday issued a temporary general license that lets Huawei buy US goods to maintain existing networks and continue providing wireless services.

The company however, is still banned from buying American equipment to make new products.

The license took effect on Monday and lasts for 90 days, at which point it could be extended.

U.S.
Attendees pass by a Huawei booth during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 9, 2019. VOA

“The Temporary General License grants operators time to make other arrangements and the Department space to determine the appropriate long term measures for Americans and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

In response to the development, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said on Tuesday that the US temporary license didn’t “make much sense”, reiterating that the company was prepared for disruptions to its supply chain.

“We shall not narrow-mindedly exclude US chips. We shall grow together. But when there is a supply shortage, we have a backup,” he said in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

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The executive order comes amid an escalating trade war between the US and China.

The US has also publicly asked its allies to steer clear of using Huawei products over concerns that the equipment could be used by the Chinese government to obtain private information. (IANS)

Next Story

Absence of Google Apps Hurting Huawei the Most

Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump's administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei

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huawei
FILE - A man uses his smartphone outside of a shop selling Huawei products at a shopping mall in Beijing, May 29, 2019. VOA

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has confirmed that the US sanctions were hurting it badly, especially the absence of Google’s core Android software, Play Store and popular apps like Search and Maps on its devices.

According to a Financial Times report quoting a senior Huawei executive, the company hasn’t been successful in finding replacements for Google apps which are very popular on Android devices across the globe.

“There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia. They’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones,” Joy Tan, Vice President of Public Affairs at Huawei US, was quoted as saying on Sunday.

“We can continue to use the Android platform since it is open-source, but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”

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Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.

A temporary licence was issued which allows Google to support and update the Android OS currently running on existing Huawei devices.

Google, Play Store, Dark Theme, Makeover
Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

However, the trade ban has affected the development of future products. Huawei is also working on its own operating system HarmonyOS but that is far from reality.

Despite trade restrictions put in place by the US, Huawei last week generated 610.8 billion yuan ($86 billion) revenue during the first three quarters of this year, an increase of 24.4 per cent year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 8.7 per cent.

Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, during a media interview last month, said that if the situation does not change with the US government, the company would start using its HarmonyOS.

The newly-launched Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro doesn’t have access to Google Play services.

Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei. (IANS)