US gives Huawei 90-day reprieve on ban

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 20.08.2019 00:08

The U.S. gave Huawei a 90-day reprieve Monday on a ban on buying U.S. technology but added nearly four dozen subsidiaries of the Chinese telecoms giant to the prohibition.

"As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei's products, we recognize that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

The ban is part of a sweeping effort by President Donald Trump's administration to restrict Huawei, which officials claim has links to Chinese intelligence that make it a security threat.

Ross announced that another 46 Huawei affiliates are being added to the list of banned companies, meaning over 100 are now subject to the restrictions. But the Commerce Department has extended a temporary license for U.S. companies to work with the Chinese firm and its subsidiaries for another 90 days.

"We are giving them more time to wean themselves off," Ross said on Fox Business Network, noting that the new deadline for implementing the ban is Nov. 19.

Shortly after blacklisting the company in May, the Commerce Department initially allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers.

The extension renews an agreement continuing the Chinese company's ability to maintain existing telecommunications networks and provide software updates to Huawei handsets.

When asked what will happen in November to U.S. companies, Ross said: "Everybody has had plenty of notice of it, there have been plenty of discussions with the president."

When the Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods earlier this year, it was seen as a major escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war. The U.S. government blacklisted Huawei, alleging that the Chinese company is involved in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy interests.

Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, is still prohibited from buying American parts and components to manufacture new products without additional special licenses. Many Huawei suppliers have requested the special licenses to sell to the firm. Ross told reporters late last month he had received more than 50 applications and that he expected to receive more. He said yesterday that there were no "specific licenses being granted for anything."

Out of the $70 billion that Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to U.S. companies, including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology. In the meantime, Trump on Sunday said he did not want the U.S. to do business with China's Huawei for national security reasons.

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