Report: 130 Companies Applied for Huawei Licenses

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American companies are clearly looking to do more business with Huawei, Reuters reported yesterday that 130 companies have applied for licenses to supply the blacklisted company. So far, the Trump administration has yet to approve a single one of those requests.

Huawei was blacklisted by the U.S. Department of Commerce in May. The official reason for the ban came down to national security concerns, with the U.S. fearing the company's products could be used by the Chinese government to conduct mass surveillance, but Huawei's position has repeatedly changed based on President Donald Trump's stance on China. Sometimes he wants to maintain the ban; sometimes he seems open to lifting it.

That stance often changes based on how the trade war between the U.S. and China is proceeding. The U.S. has repeatedly increased tariffs on goods imported from China--with the Trump administration most recently expanding tariffs to another $300 billion worth of products--and pushed for trade talks. China has in turn imposed its own levies, refused to purchase U.S. agricultural goods and destabilized global markets by devaluing the yuan.

A former Commerce department official named William Reinsch told Reuters that "nobody in the executive branch knows what [Trump] wants and they’re all afraid to make a decision without knowing that." That could explain why the federal government hasn't issued any licenses for companies looking to sell to Huawei.

It's also the last thing Huawei and its American suppliers or their shareholders wanted to hear, as it adds to the whiplash of American businesses trying to keep track of international relations in regards to tech and business.

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  • bit_user
    Trump is obviously trying to use the ban on working with Huawei as a bargaining chip, in his trade war.

    That's really unfortunate, since I think there are legitimate security concerns about having Huawei as an infrastructure provider, which his exploitation of the issue tends to water down.