It looks like the US is amending its prohibitions on US companies doing business with Huawei. The government isn’t backpedaling on its stance towards Huawei, but it is making one small change to allow companies to work on 5G standards with Huawei.
As reported by Reuters, the US is not dropping the prohibitions altogether, but it is allowing US companies to work with the Chinese firm on setting standards for next-generation 5G networks.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made a statement to Reuters:
The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation. The department is committed to protecting U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging US industry to fully engage and advocate for U.S. technologies to become international standards.
According to the report, the US Commerce Department and other agencies signed off on the rule change, though it hasn’t been published in the Federal Register yet. An official announcement is expected on Monday.
It’s been a little over a year since the US placed Huawei on the Commerce Department’s entity list, which restricts sales of US goods and technology to some Chinese companies such as Huawei. The list was also just re-signed for another year. The US says there are national security concerns with companies on the list.
Rather than weakening its stance against Huawei, this is actually a move designed to help the US work with companies like Huawei on 5G standards. This will help make sure the US stays with the rest of the world. This change will give the US full participation in voluntary standards setting bodies.