Huawei’s temporary license to deal with U.S. companies ends today—what next?

We’re here. The U.S. Commerce Department’s temporary reprieve for Huawei is due to lapse today (August 19). According to earlier reports, the Chinese tech company was given a 90-day extension, roughly 3 months ago, to continue to deal with American companies, although there has been a fair bit of confusion—especially if you take into account what Donald Trump said in the aftermath of the G20 Summit 2019 in Osaka.

And now, Reuters has reported that the U.S. Department of Commerce is set to extend Huawei’s temporary license by another 90 days, although nothing is concrete at this point in time. This, however, contradicts Donald Trump’s recent statement:

“I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat. We’ll see what happens. I’m making a decision tomorrow,”

In case you need a bit of context, here’s the situation in a nutshell. Amidst rising trade tensions with China, the U.S. Department of Commerce has placed Huawei on a blacklist of entities. This basically means that Huawei has to attain special permission from the Commerce Department to buy goods from U.S. companies, with most applications generally rejected under a presumption of denial.

Despite President Trump’s earlier statement that “U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei… there’s no great, national emergency problem”, the White House faced a bi-partisan backlash in Congress over the comments, with White House advisor, Larry Kudlow, explaining that Huawei was not being given general amnesty.

Yet despite all of this, Trump now says that he doesn’t want to do business (with Huawei) at all. So what’s going on? At the very least, it seems that we should have some clarity by the end of today, with a decision expected to be made today. On the other hand, more and more reports are surfacing that claim that the temporary reprieve is set to be extended—but it’s worth noting that most of these reports quote anonymous sources.

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In any case, Huawei is seemingly well-prepared for this development, whatever the outcome. Harmony OS is, according to them, ready to be pushed to their Huawei smartphones “anytime”. Despite wanting to continue to support the Android ecosystem, perhaps the time for a major switchover for Huawei may be coming soon.

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