Exclusive: U.S. may scale back Huawei trade restrictions to help existing customers
(Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday it may soon scale ba
ck restrictions on Huawei Technologies after this week’s blacklisting would
have made it nearly impossible for the Chinese company to service its exist
（路透社） - 美国商务部周五表示，可能很快会缩减对华为技术的限制，因为本周的黑
The Commerce Department, which had effectively halted Huawei’s ability to b
uy American-made parts and components, is considering issuing a temporary ge
neral license to “prevent the interruption of existing network operations a
nd equipment,” a spokeswoman said.
Potential beneficiaries of the license could, for example, include internet
access and mobile phone service providers in thinly populated places such as
Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in
In effect, the Commerce Department would allow Huawei to purchase U.S. goods
so it can help existing customers maintain the reliability of networks and
equipment, but the Chinese firm still would not be allowed to buy American p
arts and components to manufacture new products.
The potential rule roll back suggests changes to Huawei’s supply chain may
have immediate, far-reaching and unintended consequences.
The blacklisting, officially known as placing Huawei on the Commerce Departm
ent’s entity list, was one or two efforts by the Trump administration this
week allegedly made in an attempt to thwart national security risks. In an e
xecutive order, President Donald Trump also effectively barred the use of it
s equipment in U.S. telecom networks.
The United States believes Huawei’s smartphones and network equipment could
be used by China to spy on Americans, allegations the company has repeatedl
The latest Commerce move comes as China has struck a more aggressive tone in
its trade war with the United States, suggesting a resumption of talks betw
een the world’s two largest economies would be meaningless unless Washingto
n changed course.
A spokesman for Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment ma
ker, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Out of $70 billion Huawei spent for buying components in 2018, some $11 bill
ion went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel Corp and Micron Technology
Inc. If the Commerce Department issues the license, U.S. suppliers would sti
ll need separate licenses to conduct new business with Huawei, which would b
e extremely difficult to obtain, the spokeswoman said.
The temporary general license would last for 90 days, she said, and would be
posted in the Federal Register, just as the rule adding Huawei to the entit
y list will be published in the government publication on Tuesday.
“The goal is to prevent collateral harm on non-Huawei entities that use the
ir equipment,” said Washington lawyer Kevin Wolf, a former Commerce Departm
The entity listing bans Huawei and 68 affiliates in 26 countries from buying
American-made goods and technology without licenses that would likely be de
The entities list identifies companies believed to be involved in activities
contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United
In a final rule posted on Thursday, the government tied Huawei’s entity lis
ting to a criminal case pending against the company in Brooklyn, New York.
U.S. prosecutors unsealed the indictment in January accusing the company of
engaging in bank fraud to obtain embargoed U.S. goods and services in Iran a
nd to move money out of the country via the international banking system.
Huawei Chief Executive Officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company’s foun
der, was arrested in Canada in December in connection with the indictment, a
move that has led to a three-way diplomatic crisis involving the U.S., Chin
a and Canada.
Meng, who was released on bail, remains in Vancouver, and is fighting extrad
ition. She has maintained her innocence, and Huawei has entered a plea of no
t guilty in New York.
Trump injected other considerations into the criminal case after Meng’s arr
est when he told Reuters he would intervene if it helped close a trade deal.