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US could tighten screw on Huawei

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The US is reportedly considering new measures that would further restrict Huawei’s ability to procure US technologies.

American companies are already banned from dealing with Huawei on national security grounds, a ruling which restricts the company’s access to key technologies, including Google’s Android operating system.

However Reuters reports that some in Washington are frustrated that its actions so far do not extend to more parts of the supply chain.

US Huawei dispute

By adding Huawei to the non-entity list, the US can only block exports of US made technology. This meant that some vendors who conducted reviews of their operations found they could continue to do business with the Chinese vendor.

Sources have told the news agency says the US Commerce Department is now looking at expanding rules that would allow the US to block exports of foreign made goods that include US technology or software.

The development would further complicate the situation and exacerbate the inconsistencies in America’s approach to China. Huawei has frequently denied any allegations that its products are a security risk, while the US has never produced any evidence to support its claims.

The US government recently extended a temporary licence that allows Huawei to procure technologies from certain suppliers in order to serve US rural operators that use its equipment. The Commerce Department has also started to issue licences to companies wanting to supply Huawei with “non-sensitive” products, the most notable of which has been Microsoft.

However the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to declare Huawei and ZTE as security risks, while some US senators are urging the government to cease the issue of new licences. It is thought Huawei plans to appeal the FCC ruling.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is keen to agree a trade deal with China that could include specific provisions for Huawei.

Via Reuters (opens in new tab)

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.