US government agencies have received the first version of regulations that prevents the use of Huawei products and services for projects funded by the taxpayer.
The ban also covers four other Chinese telecommunications firms, including ZTE, and was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018. The five companies have been excluded on national security grounds.
The publication of the new rules is the first time that government agencies and contractors will have seen how the ban affects them. Huawei has persistently denied any allegations of wrongdoing and is contesting the ban.
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US government ban
Huawei has effectively been frozen out of the US device and telecoms equipment markets for several years but Washington has taken several steps recently to formalise the exclusion.
In addition to the NDAA, US suppliers have been banned from doing business with Huawei. The ruling limited Huawei’s access to components and meant its handsets would no longer receive updates for the Android operating system from Google or access to its popular applications.
If the situation was to persist, it would be a significantly decrease the attractiveness of Huawei devices in the west and deliver a serious blow to the company’s ambition to become the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer.
The US Government had previously indicated that it might relax the ban in order to help US companies and kickstart trade negotiations with China, but had not given any detail on how fair the reprieve would go.
Now it's confirmed that some vendors will be able to do business with Huawei – so long as there's no national security risk. It’s unclear which product categories are deemed to be safe, and it’s worth pointing out that the ruling is still effective, meaning it could be enforced once again if trade talks stall.
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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.