Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 10 December 2019

US to delay Huawei restrictions for 90 days

Some telecom companies in the US are "dependent" on Huawei, and thus a reprieve was deemed appropriate, says US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross says Chinese tech giant will be granted a reprieve. AFP
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross says Chinese tech giant will be granted a reprieve. AFP

The US will delay for 90 days restrictions the Trump administration has imposed on some business operations of China’s Huawei Technologies, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday.

Some telecom companies in the US are "dependent" on Huawei, and thus a 90-day reprieve was deemed appropriate, Mr Ross said.

"We’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off," he added. Mr Ross said the next deadline will be around November 19. He added that Commerce decided to place 46 more Huawei subsidiaries on its entity list.

The announcement followed an upbeat tweet from President Donald Trump over the weekend indicating the US was “doing very well with China, and talking”.

Huawei, China’s largest technology company by sales, has been at the heart of worsening tensions and been called a bargaining chip in thorny trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. Trump had said he anticipated talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping “very soon” and the Huawei move may sweeten the tone of those discussions.

Huawei, for its part, has been trying to carry on operations in face of US sanctions on the sale of the vital technology. The company this month announced its in-house HarmonyOS, an open-source operating system that could one day serve as a replacement for Google’s Android if its access to that software is curtailed.

Without Android or the numerous American silicon, technology and consultancy suppliers that Huawei does business with, many of its most promising product lines would either cease their rapid growth or be thwarted entirely.

The US Commerce Department previously granted a three-month temporary licence to Huawei’s US customers shortly after the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese company. That allowed telecom carriers in rural areas to continue using Huawei equipment and Google to provide only key Android security updates to Huawei phones.

Updated: August 19, 2019 04:34 PM

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