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Biden brings in tighter restrictions against Huawei

by on12 March 2021

No respite

The Biden administration this week amended licences for companies to sell to China’s Huawei further restricting companies from supplying items that can be used with 5G devices, sources said.

The changes could disrupt existing contracts with Huawei that were agreed upon under previous licences that have now been changed, two of the sources said.

The actions show the Biden administration is reinforcing a hard line on exports to Huawei, the telecommunications equipment maker placed on the trade blacklist over US national security concerns.

The initial export licences were granted by the Commerce Department after the company was placed on the department’s trade blacklist in 2019. This week’s new conditions make older licences more consistent with tougher licensing policies implemented in the waning days of the Trump administration.

In January, the Trump administration decided it would deny 116 licences with face values totalling $119 billion, and only approve four worth $20 million. Most of those denied fell into three broad categories: memory, handset and other devices, and network applications.

Between 2019 and 2020, the administration approved licences for companies to sell $87 billion worth of goods and technology to Huawei, the document said. Licences are good for four years.

It would appear that the new licences are worded so that they ban any tech which could be used in 5G gear, even if it is not headed for that use.

One licence was not authorised for use in military, 5G, critical infrastructure, enterprise data centres, cloud or space applications, effective March 8.

Last modified on 12 March 2021
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