In a move that’s not going to surprise many, President Donald Trump has allowed U.S. companies to once again do business with Huawei. The US government is still not removing Huawei from its Entity List but it is allowing US companies to once again indulge in trade with the Chinese company.
Trump said ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka that US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei provided there is no security problem associated with it. This means that Huawei can once again buy chips from Qualcomm, Intel, and other vendors based in the United States. This also means that Huawei’s Android license will be reinstated and it will have access to the OS.
“U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” Trump said at a news conference following the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. “We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.”
The announcement from Trump comes after intense lobbying from US companies like Intel who said that Huawei orders billions of worth of components from them every year. It is also rumored that the Chinese President Xi Jinping wanted the ban from Huawei to be removed before discussing any further trade agreements with President Trump.
For most consumer products that Huawei sells, this should put things back in the same state that they were before the ban. However, this also means that US companies are unlikely to buy any kind of networking equipment from Huawei as it poses a potential security risk.
A formal announcement from the U.S. government regarding this move is yet to be made. Once done though, it will only be a matter of time before things are back to normal for Huawei — at least in terms of supply-chain. There is no denying the fact that this move has had a negative impact on the company’s business and must have put a stop on the rapid growth of its smartphone business.
The truth is that the blanket ban from the U.S. government was just too complex to go ahead with. While it would have hurt Huawei the most, many U.S. companies like Intel would have also been a casualty of it.