Exclusive: U.S. set to give Huawei another 90 days to buy from American
suppliers - sources
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[August 17, 2019] By
Keith Zhai and David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.
Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei
Technologies that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S.
companies so that it can service existing customers, two sources
familiar with the situation said.
The "temporary general license" will be extended for Huawei for 90 days,
the sources said.
Commerce initially allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods
in May shortly after blacklisting the company in a move aimed at
minimizing disruption for its customers, many of which operate networks
in rural America.
An extension will renew an agreement set to lapse on August 19,
continuing the Chinese company's ability to maintain existing
telecommunications networks and provide software updates to Huawei
The situation surrounding the license, which has become a key bargaining
chip for the United States in its trade negotiations with China, remains
fluid and the decision to continue the Huawei reprieve could change
ahead of the Monday deadline, the sources said.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are
expected to discuss Huawei in a call this weekend, one of the sources
Huawei did not have an immediate comment. China's foreign ministry did
not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
When the Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods
earlier this year, it was seen as a major escalation in the trade war
between the world’s two top economies.
The U.S. government blacklisted Huawei alleging the Chinese company is
involved in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy
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A Huawei company logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International
Airport in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China July 22, 2019.
REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
As an example, the blacklisting order cited a criminal case pending against the
company in federal court, over allegations Huawei violated U.S. sanctions
against Iran. Huawei has pleaded not guilty in the case.
The order noted that the indictment also accused Huawei of “deceptive and
At the same time the United States says Huawei's smartphones and network
equipment could be used by China to spy on Americans, allegations the company
has repeatedly denied.
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.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters late last month he had received
more than 50 applications, and that he expected to receive more.
Out of $70 billion that Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion
went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology.
The Commerce Department late on Friday declined to comment, referring to Ross’s
comments to CNBC television earlier this week in which he said the existing
licenses were in effect until Monday.
Asked if they would be extended he said: “On Monday I'll be happy to update
(Reporting by Keith Zhai in Singapore and David Shepardson in Washington;
Editing by Chris Sanders and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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