Thursday, 12 March 2020 07:42

Huawei gets another extension to do business in US Featured

Huawei gets another extension to do business in US Pixabay

The US Department of Commerce has extended the date for Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies to do business in the country up to 15 May, ahead of the last extension which ends on 1 April.

The department's Bureau of Industry and Security said in a statement on Tuesday it would be seeking submissions from the public until 25 March about the restrictions placed on Huawei and whether they should be changed in any way.

The Chinese firm was placed on the US Entity List in May last year, a move that banned it from buying products made in the US which have anything more than 25% of American-produced content.

Since then the exemption, which "authorises specific, limited engagement in transactions involving the export, re-export, and transfer of items" has been extended thrice.

Some companies like Microsoft have gained an exemption from trading with Huawei and the software giant continues to supply its Windows operating system for the laptops made by the Shenzhen-based firm.

Others, like Google, have applied for exemptions. Huawei has used the Android operating system for its mobile phones thus far, but two recent models have not been able to use proprietary Google apps like YouTube, Maps, Gmail and the Play Store. Instead, Huawei has used an OS based on the open-source version of Android.

The BIS said it was looking to obtain feedback from the public about how the temporary extensions of trading could be adjusted to best serve their purpose "to allow time for companies and persons to shift to alternative sources of equipment, software, and technology [not made by Huawei]".

There are many network providers in rural areas of the US who use equipment from Huawei due to both its cost and the assistance the company has provided in setting things up. The US has said it does not intend to cause them issues when it comes to upgrading or maintenance in the short term.

Washington has campaigned for more than two years to try and push countries it considers allies to avoid using 5G equipment from Huawei in their networks. Thus far, only Australia and Vietnam have said openly that they would follow Washington's lead.

Countries like Japan, South Korea and Poland have indicated that they are likely to toe the US line, but have yet to make public pronouncements about what policy they would follow.

The UK broke ranks with the US in January, saying it would allow Huawei to supply up to a third of equipment for non-core parts of its 5G networks.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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