Chinese networking, telecoms and mobility supplier Huawei has hit out at the United States government after it added a number of Huawei subsidiaries to the Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Department of Commerce Entity List, warning that banning it from the US is in nobody’s interests, and will damage American businesses.
US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross revealed on 20 August 2019 that Washington was adding 46 more Huawei subsidiaries to its blacklist of organisations that American firms are forbidden to do business with, in addition to the 70 added in May. Ross said this was to close off a number of potential loopholes.
At the same time, Ross said that the US was extending a 90-day temporary general licence to allow selected American technology businesses to continue to do business with Huawei for a further 90-day period – effectively contradicting earlier remarks made by president Trump. He said that this measure was designed to give US telecoms companies “a little more time wean themselves off” Huawei.
A Huawei spokesperson said: “We oppose the US Commerce Department’s decision to add another 46 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List. It’s clear that this decision, made at this particular time, is politically motivated and has 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. 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.
“The extension of the Temporary General License does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly,” they continued.
“Today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way. We will continue to focus on developing the best possible products and providing the best possible services to our customers around the world.”
At the end of July, Huawei chairman Liang Hua told journalists that while Huawei had seen some negative impacts after being caught in the crossfire of Trump’s trade war with China, its people were rallying under the pressure.
“In a way, the US government’s foray against Huawei has helped us understand our objectives better. It has enhanced internal collaboration and has galvanised our people. This pressure has brought us together and reinvigorated the company,” he said.
“It has created an opportunity for our people to shine and has attracted many bright minds from around the world to join us.”
Recent developments in the Huawei affair
- American network operators have been given an additional 90-day grace period to wean themselves off Huawei’s hardware.
- Huawei is positioning its microkernel-based, distributed HarmonyOS mobile operating system as a true competitor to both Android and iOS.
- Huawei has found itself caught in the crossfire of the US president’s trade war with China, but chairman Liang Hua says the firm is rising to the challenge and has been “galvanised” by it.
- Culture secretary says he cannot yet make specific decisions about Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s telecoms and mobile networks due to a lack of clarity from the US, effectively green-lighting its use.
- Science and Technology Committee tells Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that there are no technical grounds for it to exclude Huawei.
- President Donald Trump promises to loosen trade restrictions on Huawei, while respecting national security concerns, but details of the changes are still unclear.
- Huawei chief security officer John Suffolk faces tough questions from parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee over the firm’s links to the Chinese government.
- The Huawei ban will spur a faster retreat from US suppliers, as the Chinese tech company invests more in its manufacturing plants and adds non-US partners, say analysts.
- Chip design firm ARM is in communication with Huawei-owned semiconductor firm HiSilicon following US move to halt exports of US technology to Chinese tech giant.
- US Commerce Department temporarily restores Huawei’s ability to maintain its existing networks and smartphone user base.