US: Licenses to Sell to Huawei Coming Soon

US: Licenses to Sell to Huawei Coming Soon

The US government will soon partially relax its block on Huawei by allowing domestic tech firms to sell it components, according to the Commerce Department.

Although Donald Trump in June signaled a softening of Washington’s hardline approach to the Chinese giant, when he said he’d allow some US firms to start supplying the company again, the all-important licenses have still not appeared.

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday that these “will be forthcoming very shortly,” according to Bloomberg.

This will help US firms which have seen rival companies in Asia pick up lucrative contracts to sell Huawei various components, after Trump approved a decision to put the Shenzen firm and 70 affiliates on an “entity list.”

It’s telling that the Commerce Department has already received 260 requests from US firms for licenses to circumvent Huawei’s blacklisting.

“That’s a lot of applications. It’s frankly more than we would’ve thought,” Ross reportedly said. “Remember too with entity lists there’s a presumption of denial. So the safe thing for these companies would be to assume denial, even though we will obviously approve quite a few of them.”

Huawei has subsequently been joined on the entity list by over 20 other Chinese firms, including AMD joint venture partner Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Company, surveillance tech giants Hikvision and Dahua Technology, and supercomputer builders Sugon and the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology.

US firms are also fearful of a reprisal from China, which could put them on a tit-for-tat blacklist, making it difficult to sell their wares in the giant eastern market.

For its part, Huawei has been bullish about its growth prospects, despite the intense pressure from Washington, which has also barred it from competing in the US telecoms market.

It denies all claims of being a US national security risk and still hopes to be the world’s leading smartphone maker by volume by 2020

Source: Information Security Magazine