Three months after the United States handed over an extension to Huawei, the Department of Commerce has given another temporary license to the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant.
“The Temporary General License extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
“The Department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security.”
The extension marks a shift in tone from the department, which previously said the extensions were in place to allow American telcos to transition away from Huawei equipment.
The Chinese giant has also previously said its addition to the US Entity List was politically motivated and had nothing to do with national security.
“These actions violate the basic principles of free market competition. They are in no one’s interests, including US companies,” Huawei said in August.
“Attempts to suppress Huawei’s business won’t help the United States achieve technological leadership. We call on the US government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List.”
In its financial results released last month, Huawei announced a 24% increase in revenue to 611 billion yuan, and it had shipped 185 million smartphones over the three quarters for the year to date, an increase of 26% year on year.
Speaking earlier this month, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said no US companies had yet taken up its offer of licensing its 5G technology.
Huawei gained its first temporary exemption in May, soon after it was added to the Entity List, which restricts companies from purchasing US software and components.
There are currently over 100 Chinese entities, including Huawei and ZTE, that have been added to the US trade blacklist.
In August, US President Donald Trump delayed raising tariffs on laptops and phones until December. CNN reported at the time that trade advisers convinced Trump to delay the tariffs by stating it could ruin Christmas.
Trump tweeted in March last year that “trade wars are good, and easy to win”.
Chinese vendor has yet to see significant impact from the trade conflict and expects to ship between 240 million and 250 million smartphones this year, but still supports globalisation and long-term collaboration with US suppliers, says its founder Ren Zhengfei.
The US government has received 260 requests for the licences.
It requires so much effort to build backdoors into networking equipment that work across different global communications networks and system configurations that it likely is easier and more effective to bribe a telco executive, says Huawei’s chief cybersecurity officer.
Bans are yet to hit the Chinese giant’s bottom line.
New draft German network security rules have just opened the door to Huawei, sparking an outcry.