US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed in a recent interview that Huawei’s “temporary general license” which was due to expire on Monday August 19, will be extended for another 90 days. The move comes in an attempt to minimize the impact on global supply chains since the United States blacklisted the Chinese telecommunications giant on May 16, 2019.
In an official statement from the United States Commerce Department, Secretary Ross was quoted, “As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognize that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption. Simultaneously, we are constantly working at the Department to ensure that any exports to Huawei and its affiliates do not violate the terms of the Entity Listing or Temporary General License.”
Coinciding with this announcement, the US Commerce Department also added a further 46 Huawei affiliated entities to the blacklist. While the expiration of the temporary general license would restrict Huawei’s access to fundamental American technology components, Huawei’s semiconductor unit HiSilicon has been devoting significant resources to the development of these key technologies including chip processors, to ensure the longevity of Huawei’s operations. Huawei also recently unveiled their own operating system software HarmonyOS to protect themselves from a potential loss of access to Google’s Android OS.
In response to the US Commerce Department’s latest announcement, Huawei released a strong statement, “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.”
In the statement Huawei alleged that the United States’ actions reflect a deepening fear and insecurity about potentially losing their technological primacy. The schism between the United States government and Huawei suggests further decoupling of the global technology sector’s previously deeply integrated supply chains.