Huawei plays down impact of new U.S. license extension

Huawei plays down impact of new U.S. license extension

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies has dismissed a new 90-day extension by the Trump administration allowing U.S. firms to continue doing business with the Chinese company as making little difference, repeating that it was being unfairly treated.

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany, September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke -/File Photo

U.S. regulators are crafting rules on telecommunications firms that pose national security risks. But after adding Huawei to an economic blacklist in May, the U.S. Commerce Department has allowed it to purchase some American-made goods.

Its 90-day license extensions aim to minimize disruption for its customers, many of which operate networks in rural America.

Huawei said on Monday that the latest extension would not “have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way”.

“This decision does not change the fact that Huawei continues to be treated unfairly either,” the Chinese firm said.

The extension comes as the United States and China try to resolve a trade war that has lasted for more than a year, with Huawei one of its most visible targets.

Beijing reiterated on Tuesday that it hopes Chinese companies will be treated fairly.

“We urge the U.S. to stop abusing export controls to discriminate against the firms of another country in the name of national security, and to stop politicizing a trade problem,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday.

Reuters on Sunday reported the 90-day extension after the administration of President Donald Trump had initially planned a two-week reprieve, but ran into bureaucratic issues.

“The Temporary General License extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

“The Department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security,” Ross said in a statement on Monday.

The U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei to its “Entity List” in May, concluding it was engaged in activities “contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”

Huawei said the decision to add it to the list had caused more harm to the U.S. than to Huawei.

“This has done significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business,” it added.

In May, Trump also signed an executive order declaring a national emergency and barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies posing a national security risk. The Commerce Department was directed to draw up an enforcement plan by mid-October but has yet to publish one.

The Commerce Department is also considering whether to grant individual licenses for U.S. firms to sell components to Huawei after receiving more than 200 requests. No action was taken on those on Monday.

Reporting by David Shepardson; additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in Paris and Huizhong Wu in Beijing; Editing by Susan Heavey, Nick Zieminski and Alexander Smith

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