US tightens trade restrictions on Huawei

Ray Le Maistre
By Ray Le Maistre

Aug 17, 2020

Source: Huawei

Source: Huawei

  • Department of Commerce extends trade restrictions
  • A further 38 Huawei affiliates added to Entity List
  • US campaign to limit Huawei’s role in 5G continues

In a bid to further tighten the trade noose on Huawei, the US Department of Commerce has extended its supply chain restrictions on the Chinese vendor by requiring the issue of a license for the sale of any products made using US hardware or software to the company, whether those products are made in the US or overseas and whether Huawei is purchasing it directly or via an intermediary.

The move aims to clamp down on Huawei’s access to technology made outside the US but using technology developed by US companies, a ‘loophole’ Huawei has used in the past year to build up inventories of the components it needs to build its telecom and enterprise technology systems. The new ruling expands a “foreign-produced direct product” decision announced in May, adding to the restricted list products made by a third party using US technology that are then sold to Huawei. 

“Huawei and its foreign affiliates have extended their efforts to obtain advanced semiconductors developed or produced from U.S. software and technology in order to fulfill the policy objectives of the Chinese Communist Party,” stated Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “As we have restricted its access to U.S. technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness U.S. technology in a manner that undermines U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. This multi-pronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei’s ability to do so.”

Full details of the new ruling are available in this Department of Commerce announcement.

The Commerce Department has also added 38 Huawei affiliates to the list of companies covered by the new restrictions. 

The move is part of an ongoing campaign by the US authorities against Huawei, which it regards as a security threat to the US. As part of that campaign, the US administration has been campaigning for other countries to ban Huawei from involvement in the rollout of 5G networks, a move that has had some success: Israel looks set to be the latest country to announce such a decision. The UK is among the countries to toe the US line, having changed its mind earlier this year and setting a date by which Huawei technology should be removed from any 5G network. 

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV 

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