The President of the United States, Donald Trump has extended the executive order that prohibits American companies from dealing with companies that pose a “national security risk”. According to a new report by Reuters, the order will now stay in place until May 2021.
While the ban isn’t specifically directed towards any particular company, we’ve already seen the effects of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s blacklisting of various companies—most infamously, Huawei. On the consumer side of things, the most obvious consequence has been the absence of Google Mobile Services (GMS) from all newly-registered Huawei mobile devices.
In fact, Huawei has been steadily working at its own operating system: Harmony OS, while new Huawei devices rely on Huawei Mobile Services and the Huawei AppGallery instead of GMS and the Play Store. This has undoubtedly affected the company, although Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has discussed possible alternatives.
The original order was put in place in May 2019, with the U.S. president invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act—this basically gives the president the power to regulate commerce for national emergencies.
That said, exemptions do apply. Licences to continue dealing with Huawei are set to expire on the 15th of May, although the U.S. Department of Commerce could be offering extensions at some point. These temporary licences allow Huawei to support some of their existing hardware—including various telecommunications systems across the U.S.—with updates and software support.
It’s worth noting, however, that there has been no official statement that confirms any extensions or temporary licences. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department reached out to the public to gauge public opinion on whether these licenses should be extended.
For now, it appears that the problems between the U.S. government and companies that purportedly pose a national security risk aren’t going away.
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