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US companies could get HUAWEI licenses 'very shortly'

It sounds like HUAWEI will be getting some relief, but will Google receive a license to deal with the manufacturer?

Published onNovember 4, 2019

HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro HUAWEI Logo

The US trade ban against Huawei has been a major challenge for the Chinese manufacturer this year, forcing it to source components elsewhere and to do without Google services on new phones.

President Donald Trump previously stated back in June that some US companies would be able to conduct business with HUAWEI, but these firms haven’t received licenses to do so until now. Fortunately, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg that these licenses “will be forthcoming very shortly,” saying that the government received 260 license applications.

“That’s a lot of applications — it’s frankly more than we would’ve thought,” Ross was quoted as saying. “Remember too with entity lists there’s a presumption of denial. So the safe thing for these companies would be to assume denial, even though we will obviously approve quite a few of them.”

Ross didn’t give a timeline for license approvals unfortunately, but hopefully companies get the green light before the end of the year.

One of the big questions is whether Google will receive a license to deal with HUAWEI. The Mate 30 series is the first major HUAWEI flagship to lack Google services, resulting in a severely limited Western launch thus far. If Google indeed receives a license, it means HUAWEI should be able to push out Google services to its Mate 30 phones. But it also means that HUAWEI’s early 2020 flagships and the Mate X foldable phone could receive Google support.

The news also comes a few weeks after the New York Times reported that the White House gave the green light to begin approving licenses for HUAWEI. The Commerce Department stated at the time that it was business as usual regarding the trade ban. But it now seems like we could indeed be on the verge of a breakthrough.

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