Pentagon To Add Two Weeks To Huawei's Interim Trading Licence With A Longer Extension In Talks

Photo: Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Huawei Technologies has purportedly secured another two weeks to continue working with certain U.S. companies. Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that, come Monday, the Pentagon will issue an extension to the Chinese company’s temporary general licence, though one far shorter than a previous 90-day extension allotted in August. This licence allows Huawei to complete contracts secured before a U.S. export ban enacted earlier this year.

A longer extension is apparently on the horizon, but for now remains in deliberation purgatory, per the report. Lucky for Huawei, the company doesn’t exactly seem to be hurting for time. While speculators previously predicted the ban might knee-cap its growth, last month Huawei reported a revenue increase of 24.4 per cent for the last three quarters of the fiscal year. This news seemed to corroborate the company’s claims from earlier this summer that sanctions hadn’t put a dent in its business.

All of which no doubt thoroughly frustrated federal officials. Back in May, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei and 68 of its affiliates to a so-called “Entity List” amid national security concerns regarding the company’s perceived close relationship with Beijing and the People’s Liberation army. For its part, Huawei denies these claims. Given the ongoing mounting trade war between China and the U.S., the company has written off the government’s allegations—as well as others concerning purported trade theft and fraud—as a smear campaign aimed at crippling the world’s leading telecom gear supplier.

The administration’s blacklist bans all technology sales between U.S. corporations and Huawei, though an exception was made for existing contracts to curtail potential disruption for its customers, a significant portion of which operate in rural American communities dependent on its 3G and 4G networks.

Regardless of this new extension, some of these same communities may soon have to say goodbye to these networks entirely. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the Federal Communications Commission will vote this week on a proposal to designate Huawei and ZTE (another Chinese tech giant) as national security threats, halting any efforts by these companies to expand their existing infrastructure. Another measure the FCC is purportedly currently considering would force U.S. companies to replace any Huawei and ZTE equipment that’s already been installed.

Huawei did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, and a spokesperson told Reuters the company doesn’t comment on such speculation.

[Reuters]

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