In case you were hoping the Donald Trump’s government would ease its restrictions on Huawei anytime soon, I’ve got some bad news for you. The president today extended the May 2019 executive order barring US complaining from using Huawei telecommunication equipment, according to Reuters. The extension will last until May 2021.
Though the renewed order doesn’t explicitly name Huawei, it’s clearly aimed at the company, as well as others lawmakers have cited as potential security risks, like ZTE.
That said, Huawei has still been allowed to work with some US companies, largely in the realm of 5G connectivity and other networking equipment. The company has a particularly strong presence in rural areas, which would be unduly affected by having to replace existing Huawei equipment on the fly.
The US Commerce Department has so far been issuing temporary license extensions, but organizations like the CTIA, the trade association for the wireless industry, have been clamoring for a more permanent extension due to the uncertainty of the current state of affairs. Reuters reports the CTIA argued “ongoing, limited engagement with Huawei to protect the security of equipment and devices in the market benefits American consumers by reducing the risk that they will be subject to device compromise.”
The current temporary license is up for renewal on Friday. It is expected to be extended, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is currently undergoing an extradition hearing in Canada over allegedly violating US trade sanctions with Iran and stealing trade secrets, a process that has been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic. Don’t expect to be able to pick up a Huawei phone at your local carrier store anytime soon. At least there’s still the P30 Pro.
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