Huawei to get 90-day extension, company’s fate remains in limbo

JC Torres - Aug 18, 2019, 8:00 pm CDT
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Huawei to get 90-day extension, company’s fate remains in limbo

The news around the Huawei controversy may have wound down a bit after the company was granted a small reprieve and hope of an eventual exception but things are about to kick up again tomorrow when that initial grant of mercy ends. Huawei was initially granted a 90-day exception to purchase some, but not all, American products it needs to maintain its business, including Google’s Android software, but that time will end August 19. Sources, however, claim that Huawei will be granted another temporary general license for yet another 90 days.

Huawei has been added to the US’ entity blacklist for a number of reasons, primary of which is the company’s alleged potential to be used by the Chinese government for corporate espionage. The company has vehemently denied the accusations and has even challenged the US government to actually produce evidence to back those statements. However, Huawei does face charges over trade secret theft and violation of US trade bans.

Earlier in May, Huawei was granted a limited exception to be able to purchase products from US companies so that it could continue supporting existing customers, including owners of its Android phones. Reuters’ sources now claim that, despite the US government’s strong words, Huawei is likely to be given another 90 days to keep on operating.

This may sound like an act of mercy, but it could also just be buying time. US President Trump has practically admitted to using Huawei as a bargaining chip in the US’ trade war with China. That hasn’t been any huge progress on that front so keeping Huawei’s fate uncertain could help expedite matters.

At the same time, it does give Huawei more time to gets its affairs in order when and if the final verdicts comes down against it. Truth be told, it still has a long way to go before it can become independent of such US products. On the mobile side alone, it has yet to present either a suitable Android fork or a convincing Android replacement. Either way, it will still be a very rocky 90 days if the extension ever gets granted on Monday.


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