US govt restrictions on Huawei loosened again

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, February 15, 2020
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Visitors experience 5G products at the booth of Huawei at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the United States, Jan. 7, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The US government announced that it would grant another extension of a temporary license that loosens restrictions on United States business deals with Huawei Technologies Co, in this case for 45 days. That's half the length of previous extensions.

The move came as Washington hit Huawei with a string of new accusations including racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets on Thursday.

Experts said the moves indicate that the US government is intensifying its push to contain the rise of Huawei, which will ultimately hurt the interests of US technology companies that supply components to the Chinese company.

The US Department of Commerce announced on its official website that the 45-day extension is "to prevent interruption of existing network communication systems in rural US regions and permit global network security measures".

This is the fourth extension since May, when Washington put Huawei on its Entity List, which bans the company from buying US components without special government approval based on accusations of security risks.

The Commerce Department issued 90-day temporary licenses on May 20, Aug 19 and Nov 18. The existing license was set to expire on Sunday.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday that the US government has abused its national power to unreasonably suppress certain Chinese enterprises without providing any evidence.

Such economic bullying is a blatant denial of the market economy principles that the US has always promoted, he said. It seriously damages the US government's own credibility and image, and will also harm the interests of US companies, Geng said.

Bai Ming, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said Washington's multiple extensions underline how rural US telecom carriers rely heavily on Huawei equipment for network coverage and how US consumers are hurt more when normal business links are severed by political forces.

"The US government may not extend the license in the future, which will hurt US tech companies that earn millions of dollars by supplying technologies to Huawei," Bai said.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said Huawei is working on its in-house operating system and chips, which can help it mitigate the effects of US bans.

Meanwhile, the legal battle between Washington and Huawei intensified, with the US Department of Justice bringing new charges to the world's largest telecom equipment maker.

The allegations include misappropriating intellectual property from US technology companies and racketeering.

Huawei said in a statement, "This new indictment is part of the Justice Department's attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei's reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement."

The company, based in Shen-zhen, Guangdong province, said these new charges are without merit and are based largely on recycled civil disputes from the past 20 years that have been previously settled, litigated and in some cases, rejected by federal judges and juries.

"The (US) government will not prevail on its charges, which we will prove to be both unfounded and unfair," Huawei said

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