The US government has extended the temporary general license that allows US firms to do business with Huawei. The current license expired today and the Trump administration has decided to extend it by another 90 days. This new 90-day reprieve ends February 16, 2020.
On Friday, Reuters reported the exemptions in the Huawei trade ban could only be extended for a period of two weeks. However, the Trump administration is said to have changed its decision over the weekend to allow for a longer extension.
It seems like the US-Huawei stalemate will continue for now. This is the third time the US government will be extending the temporary license for Huawei, with no permanent resolution in sight.
In a statement to Reuters, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said:
The Temporary General License extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark. The Department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security.
With another 90-day reprieve, Huawei devices will be able to receive important software and security updates till at least March 2020.
It’s important to note that these software updates will be limited to devices that were released or licensed before Huawei was placed on the US Entity list. So if you are expecting the Mate 30 series to get Google services any time soon, you might have to wait out this trade feud a little longer.
Even Huawei’s foldable phone, the Mate X, will have to wait out the ban to get Google services. This is possibly the reason why Huawei has not launched the device in any other market except for China.
As for Huawei, the company has not really lost out because of being blacklisted by the US. It more than made up for the lost business by ramping up operations in China.
Huawei is even working on its own mobile operating system so that it does not have to rely on Google if the trade ban is stretched longer. It’s also quite possible that US-China trade tensions ease off in the coming months, possibly lifting these sanctions against Huawei.