US to ease Huawei sanctions for another 90 days

TOKYO: The US will delay for 90 days restrictions the Trump administration has imposed on some business operations of China’s Huawei Technologies Co, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday.

Some telecom companies in the US are “dependent” on Huawei, and thus a 90-day reprieve was deemed appropriate, Ross said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo.

“We’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off,” he added. Ross said the next deadline will be around Nov 19. He added that Commerce decided to place 46 more Huawei subsidiaries on its entity list.

The announcement followed an upbeat tweet from President Donald Trump over the weekend indicating the US was “doing very well with China, and talking.”

Huawei, China’s largest technology company by sales, has been at the heart of worsening tensions and been called a bargaining chip in thorny trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing.

Trump had said he anticipated talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping “very soon” and the Huawei move may sweeten the tone of those discussions.

Huawei, for its part, has been trying to carry on operations in face of US sanctions on the sale of the vital technology.

The company this month announced its in-house HarmonyOS, an open-source operating system that could one day serve as a replacement for Google Inc’s Android if its access to that software is curtailed.

Without Android or the numerous American silicon, technology and consultancy suppliers that Huawei does business with, many of its most promising product lines would either cease their rapid growth or be thwarted entirely.

The US Commerce Department previously granted a three-month temporary license to Huawei’s US customers shortly after the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese company.

That allowed telecom carriers in rural areas to continue using Huawei equipment and Google to provide only key Android security updates to Huawei phones.