American federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Pentagon, are currently torn on placing Huawei’s former brand, Honor, on the U.S. export blacklist. According to a report by The Washington Post (via), top officials from the Pentagon, State, Energy, and Commerce Departments held a meeting last week to decide the fate of the Honor brand.
While Energy Department and Pentagon staffers reportedly recommended placing the company on the Entity List, officials from the Commerce and State Departments reportedly stood against this notion. If Honor makes it to the list, the company will need to obtain a license to receive American exports.
Huawei sold off the Honor brand earlier this year
Several Republican lawmakers have urged President Biden’s administration to leverage the Entity List to control China’s rise in the tech world.
In August, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and a few other lawmakers urged Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to include Honor on this list. Lawmakers have likened Huawei’s sale of Honor in January 2021 to “export control evasion.”
Meanwhile, Huawei said that the sale of Honor was a consequence of the Trump administration placing Huawei on the Entity List in 2019. These restrictions hindered the company’s ability to obtain processors and software licenses for its Honor smartphones.
Huawei sold off Honor to Zhixin New Information Technology. This company was set up by two investors with ties to the Shenzhen municipal government.
Last month, Honor launched its first flagship smartphone lineup after separating from Huawei earlier this year. The company introduced a total of three phones under the HONOR Magic 3 series – Magic 3, Magic 3 Pro, and Magic 3 Pro+.
Although the new phones have nothing to do with Huawei anymore, they maintain a familiar naming system. But one crucial difference with the new Honor Magic 3 phones is that they can all access Google services. The phones run on Android 11 with a custom UI layer known as Magic UI 5.0.
The specs sheet of the Honor Magic 3 lineup is truly impressive. All three models offer a 6.76-inch 120Hz OLED screen. Other eye-catching features include the Snapdragon 888 SoC and a 4,600mAh battery with 66W fast wired charging. Honor said it would bring the Magic 3 series to China first, followed by other global markets.