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Microsoft says Huawei ban unfair and un-American

Huawei is definitely having a tough time with the ongoing ban which prevents them from gaining access to software and services from US-based companies. Microsoft, one of Huawei’s technology partners, has spoken out against the restriction which is deemed unfair.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, says that the way the US government is treating Huawei is un-American. He said that Huawei which is the leading manufacturer for networking equipment and mobile phones should be allowed to buy US technology including software from his company.

He also said that such actions shouldn’t be taken without “sound basis, in fact, logic, and rule of law.” Microsoft had asked US regulators to provide further explanation about the ban but they didn’t get a clear answer.

“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us,’” he says. “And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works.’”

US President, Donald Trump, had repeatedly accused Huawei as a security threat and had ordered the Department of Commerce to blacklist the telecommunications giant along with other affiliated companies.

Since Trump is in the hotel business, Brad Smith said “To tell a tech company that it can sell products, but not buy an operating system or chips, is like telling a hotel company that it can open its doors, but not put beds in its hotel rooms or food in its restaurant. Either way, you put the survival of that company at risk.”

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Microsoft has also asked the Commerce Department to consider limit the sales ban to particular customers or uses that might pose national security risks, such as universities with ties to the Chinese military. Brad also added that a coalition of democracies should agree on standards of privacy and data collection and to press China for better behaviour.

At the moment, Huawei has been given a temporary licence for another 90 days and the current reprieve will end on 18th November 2019. It is said that this is the final extension and the US government will impose a full ban in November. Despite the extension, Google has said that the upcoming Mate 30 series cannot be shipped with official Google apps and services. This puts Huawei in limbo as their smartphones are heavily depended on the Android platform.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the US Government’s security allegations, calling the ban unconstitutional. Their Chief Legal Officer, Dr. Song Liuping, stresses that the US government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. They have filed a motion requesting US courts to overturn the ruling and a hearing is set for 19th September 2019.


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Alexander Wong