After the clampdown by the US government, Huawei lost privileges to conduct business in and with US companies. Since the Huawei trade ban, it has been on the sidelines with major smartphone players backing off their deals. And now President Donald Trump has announced that Huawei can conduct business with US companies again. This comes weeks after US blacklisted Huawei and placed it on the entity list. President Trump had determined that the unrestricted acquisition or use in the US of information and communications technology or services that are subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries augments the ability of those foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services and that can have potentially catastrophic effects, and thereby, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary risk to our national security, foreign policy and economy.
Huawei trade ban lift
Now at the G20 summit in Osaka, Trump announced, “U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei. We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.” But he did not detail about what this means for Huawei. And it is not clear if Huawei can acquire smartphone parts from the US like Qualcomm chipsets. Or get back software support from Google and reinstate Android services.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Trump said, “I said that’s O.K., that we will keep selling that product, these are American companies that make these products. That’s very complex, by the way. I’ve agreed to allow them to continue to sell that product so that American companies will continue.”
Huawei spent $11 billion on chips made by Intel, Qualcomm, and Micron back in 2018. As a result, companies like Intel and Xilinx reportedly lobbied to get Huawei off the blacklist. WSJ reported, China is maiking lifting Huawei restrictions a part of any trade agreement with US.
But this does not mean that Huawei is off the ‘Entity list’, as a formal decision has not been made yet. “Huawei is very much in play in terms of our country and in terms of intelligence and the intelligence community — we know a lot about Huawei — but I don’t want to mention that right now. I just think it’s inappropriate. We’re not making it other than what I told you… We’re going to save that for later.”
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“We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China, excellent, I would say excellent, as good as it was going to be,” Trump said. “We discussed a lot of things and we’re right back on track and we’ll see what happens.”
It is not clear how long it will take to relax the restrictions yet. But Huawei could be back in business is a few days, but the effect will still continue for a while. As of now there is no official statement from Huawei.