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US could soon grant exemptions to Huawei trade ban

By Koh Wanzi - on 4 Nov 2019, 1:45pm

US could soon grant exemptions to Huawei trade ban

Image Source: Reuters

The US trade ban of Huawei could soon be loosened slightly. In an interview with Bloomberg, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that licenses that allow US companies to work with Huawei would arrive "very shortly". There have reportedly been as many as 260 requests, although Ross said there was no guarantee that the US government would approve them all and companies should still operate under the assumption that they will not be granted a license. That said, the US still expects to approve many of these requests.

The blacklist has hurt American companies that do business with Huawei, particularly since Huawei is able to still buy certain components from competitors in countries like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Ross didn't name any specific firms that have applied for a license, but one obvious name that comes to mind is Google. The newly launched Mate 30 Pro doesn't come with Google Mobile Services (GMS) installed, which means it lacks things like Google Maps, YouTube, and even the Play Store. Furthermore, it won't be able to update its existing phones once its temporary licenses expire. The original deadline was set for 19 August this year, but the US government has since granted Huawei an extension of 90 days.

A more permanent licensed exception could help Google and Huawei get back to business as usual. The Chinese company was placed on a US blacklist in May, sparking off months of considerable uncertainty as to the future of Huawei smartphones.

Source: Bloomberg via Reuters