The US government may soon approve licenses that would allow several of its own companies to restart trade with Huawei once more. Approvals that, according to a senior US official, could take anything between two to four weeks to be cleared.
The move is one of the first sign of the Trump administration seemingly backing down on the US executive order against China that it signed back in May this year. While it was not outrightly specified, many believe that the ban was aimed specifically at Huawei and most of its equipment and products.
According to Reuters, Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary, says that it still stands that these licenses will only be issued once it has been deemed that the dealings will not pose a threat to national security.
Unsurprisingly, two US-based chipmakers – who wished to remain anonymous – were clearly jovial with the news, and said that they would apply for more licenses to continue business with Huawei.
Earlier last month, US President Donald Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit to discuss the former’s ban on the latter. Prior to the meeting, the ban effectively prohibited US companies such as Intel, Qualcomm and ARM, from doing business with Huawei.
There were, of course, a few major US firms argued that the ban would have the opposite effect on national security. In the case of Google, the search engine – which provides the Android OS to Huawei’s smartphones – argued that cutting off Android support to both current and future Huawei smart devices would do more harm than good. As it would open up new vulnerabilities for hackers and cyber-criminals.
To be clear, not all US sales to Huawei requires the government’s approval or license. As explained by Reuters, some products could be beyond the scope of the US export controls, as the product in question was manufactured outside of the country. And with only a few US-made components. Also, it’s still unclear as to which products or chipmakers will be granted licenses.