US Government Throws Huawei A Bone With Temporary License

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Huawei is getting a temporary license to do business with US companies, after Trump's executive order on Thursday barred them from working with any US company. Which resulted in a domino effect of companies cutting ties with the Chinese telecom.

This is going to allow Huawei to maintain its existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei smartphones. The US Commerce Department gave Huawei a temporary license, which will only last about three months, until August 19. It gives the company some breathing room, and time to get things settled, before they are completely barred from using US technology.

Last week, the Trump Administration put Huawei and 68 other companies on the entity list. Which essentially means that they can't export US technologies without a permit from the Commerce Department. That means that Huawei can't export chips from Qualcomm and Intel to use in their products and they also can't export Google services to use in its smartphones. That explains the domino effect that we saw over the weekend, with companies cutting ties with Huawei. Which started with Google, and included Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, and Microsoft. Effectively rendering their laptops and smartphones useless, in the future.

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This temporary license from the Commerce Department does show that the government is willing to work with Huawei to resolve whatever issues they may have. Of course, the big thing here is the fact that the US government believes the Chinese government uses Huawei products to spy on users – even those outside of China. The US has told its allies to stop using Huawei networking gear on their upcoming 5G networks. And have also forced some rural ISPs to stop using their networking gear.

This conflict between the US and Huawei has been going since at least 2012. But has really gained steam under the Trump Administration, as it is in a trade war with China, and Huawei is apparently going to be collateral damage for the US. Which sucks for Huawei, but it will likely get worked out in the end. ZTE was all but banned from the US not too long ago, for violating sanctions. But it was allowed to do business in the US once again, after it met some criteria and paid a pretty hefty fine to the Commerce Department. That could happen with Huawei, ultimately.

The temporary license that the Commerce Department has granted Huawei doesn't automatically mean that they get Google services once again. That is up to Google to reinstate (even if temporarily). Which is very likely to happen. Google was only following the executive order that Trump signed on Thursday. Google wasn't throwing its partner under the bus, but basically abiding by the law. So it wouldn't be surprising to hear that Huawei's Android license has been reinstated, temporarily, in the next few hours.

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This does sound very eerily similar to what happened with ZTE recently, who also got a temporary license to still conduct some business in the US. So it's not all doom and gloom for Huawei, yet.