Why it matters: After it appeared that the Trump administration was softening its stance on Huawei, the Chinese giant has just been dealt a blow. The White House has decided to delay a decision on granting licenses that allow US companies to do business with the firm—a requirement after it was blacklisted over national security concerns back in May.
According to Bloomberg, which cites people familiar with the matter, the decision comes after tensions with China ramped up once again. Earlier this week, the Asian nation said it was stopping purchases of US farming goods, which follows last week’s announcement by Trump that, beginning on September 1, the US will institute a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports. The treasury department labeling China as a currency manipulator was unlikely to have helped matters.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had said the decision to review more than 50 license applications could begin this week, but it seems those US firms looking to trade with Huawei are going to have to wait.
Almost two weeks after Huawei was added to an entity list, Trump said at the G20 summit that “US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei. I’m talking about equipment where there’s no great national emergency problem with it.” But the loosening of restrictions depended on China increasing its purchases from American farmers, which Trump says it failed to do.
While the Huawei ban is supposedly to protect America’s national security, adverse effects are being felt in the US, including the loss of 600 workers from its Futurewei subsidiary. And although firms have been using a loophole to circumvent the blacklisting, US tech giants warn that the situation will only harm the industry.
Earlier today, Huawei revealed what could be a potential replacement for Android on its smartphones, HarmonyOS.