Huawei just caught a break: The US government has temporarily loosened restrictions so that Huawei can help its existing customers

  • Huawei has had its restrictions around conducting business in the US scaled back.
  • Last week, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to an “entity list” that blacklisted the company from buying parts from US businesses without government approval.
  • The restrictions on Huawei have been reduced so the Chinese company is able to work with its existing cellphone customers in the US.

The US Commerce Department on Monday created a temporary general license restoring Huawei’s ability to maintain existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets.

The license, which was posted for public inspection, scales back the restrictions imposed by the US government last week on Huawei’s buying US goods in order to help existing customers. The temporary license lasts until August 19.

Last week, the US Commerce Department added Huawei, a massive Chinese tech company, to an “entity list” that essentially blacklisted the company from buying parts from US businesses without first getting US government approval.

Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter, on Sunday that Google suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software, and technical services except those publicly available via open-source licensing.

Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google representative said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters.

Potential beneficiaries of the temporary license could include internet-access and mobile-phone service providers in thinly populated places such as Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in recent years.

The “temporary general license” will allow Huawei to provide software updates and maintain existing cell networks for those in the US who use Huawei smartphones.

Although Huawei is the second-largest smartphone maker, its devices are hard to come by in the US because the company hasn’t been able to find a US carrier willing to partner with it.

Since the blacklist went into place, major US tech companies and suppliers have cut off Huawei from critical software and parts “until further notice,” Bloomberg reported.

Source: BusinessInsider