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U.S. DOC confirms companies can apply for licenses to sell U.S. tech to Huawei


Huawei was added to the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) 'entity list' in May. This effectively banned the Chinese firm from purchasing any tech from U.S. suppliers. However, following a period of uncertainty, United States President Donald Trump announced at the G20 summit last month that an agreement with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping had been reached, one that would essentially reverse the ban - with a few caveats.

In the days following Trump's statement, the U.S. Director of the National Economic Council clarified that the lifting of the ban only applied to certain widely available products. Now, the DOC has officially verified this stance at its conference, stating that companies would only be allowed to sell tech to Huawei as long as it didn't pose a national security risk.

It has also been noted that Huawei will continue to remain on the entity list. In essence, this means that U.S. companies will have to apply for a license before being able to sell any technological services to the Chinese firm. Furthermore, the applications will be considered under the "presumption of denial". This implies that the chances of rejection of any application would be high, and that the onus of having to thoroughly prove that the tech in question does not have any national security implications lies upon the companies.

"Within those confines we will try to make sure that we don’t just transfer revenue from the U.S. to foreign firms", noted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. However, he did not mention any timeline for when applicants could expect the licenses to be granted.

It would be fair to assume that Huawei's future in the United States still accompanies major doubts. Moving on, how the DOC actually responds to received applications should give all parties involved a better idea of how they can expect to fare with regards to purchase and selling of U.S. tech in the coming months.


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