The change in the US political landscape will naturally send ripples through all aspects of the country’s life and business, especially those more contentious policies and views that Donald Trump left behind. Some of those have already been reversed while others remained. Naturally, that also gave some companies recently added to the country’s dreaded Entity List a bit of hope for a reprieve. Unfortunately for Huawei and other Chinese company’s on that list, President Joe Biden’s pick for the Commerce Department isn’t that keen on changing the status quo.
Companies and organizations are added to the US’ Entity List usually on suspicion or evidence of being involved in activities that threatened the country’s national security or espouse objectives contrary to the US’ principles. For Huawei, that was the accusation of its involvement in state-sponsored espionage, with the Chinese government using the company’s networking and mobile businesses.
Being that entity list means that US companies are banned from exporting any American product or product made using American technologies to those entities. That meant that Huawei lost access to everything from components used for making chips to Google’s proprietary Play apps and services. There were, naturally, some hopes that Biden would lift this ban but that might not be the case.
Responding to questions from Senate Republicans, Gina Raimondo, Biden’s pick to head the Commerce Department under his administration, said that she doesn’t see any reason not to have those entities on the various lists that ban US companies from doing business with foreign entities in one capacity or another. Raimondo’s non-committal response to an earlier Senate hearing may have caused a slight delay in her confirmation.
Beijing was naturally unsatisfied with the report of the upcoming Commerce secretary’s responses regarding the matter. That, however, doesn’t mean that the policies won’t change in the course of Biden’s term. Just that, for now, Huawei, SMIC, ZTE, and others shouldn’t hold their breaths just yet.