US To Relax Huawei Trade Ban Under China Trade Talks Deal

Shares in suppliers to Huawei surged in Asian trading on Monday after US president Donald Trump indicated over the weekend that trade restrictions to the Chinese telecoms equipment maker would be relaxed.

Trump said at a press conference in Japan that the turnaround on Huawei was part of an agreement with Chinese president Xi Jinping to resume trade talks.

Similarly, the administration imposed a sales ban on China’s ZTE last year, but later reached a deal with the company that reversed the measure.

It was as yet unclear what effect the change in policy would have, with National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow confiming that Huawei would remain on the “entity list”, a national security blacklist, but that some temporary sales licences would be granted.

National security

The US placed Huawei on the list in May, but delayed the ban from taking effect until August.

In a Twitter message, Trump said he would alow Huawei to buy products “which will not impact our national security” in response to lobbying by US high-tech firms and at the request of China’s Xi.

Shares in Huawei suppliers including OLED display panel maker BOE Technology Group and fingerprint sensor manufacturer Shenzhen Goodix Technology rose sharply on Monday in response to the news.

Details

However, it wasn’t clear what products Huawei would be allowed to buy, with some industry watchers arguing Google may remain excluded from dealing with Huawei.

Huawei at first said it would remain unaffected by the blacklist, but last month said it expected to see $30 billion (£23bn) in lost revenues.

“We acknowledge the US president’s comments relating to Huawei and have no further comments at this time,” Huawei told Reuters.

Trump said Huawei’s situation would be discussed only “toward the end” of talks with Xi.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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