Offering an olive branch to Huawei Technologies, US President Donald Trump has said that the administration will now allow the Silicon Valley companies to resume business with the companies. This likely means that the Chinese telecom equipment maker and 70 of its affiliates will be removed from an “entity list” which forbids US companies from doing business with it. The move comes as the Washington agreed to restart trade talks in order to reduce tensions with Beijing.
“We’re right back on track,” Trump said at an 80-minute meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 (G20) summit of major economies in Osaka, Japan. “US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei. We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it,” he added.
“These are American companies producing the products. This is complex ... highly scientific. We are the only one with the technology. I have agreed to allow them to continue selling the products … I like our companies selling things to others ... very complex things. These are not things easy to make ... our companies were very upset, but we are allowing them. So if it is not a national security issue, we are allowing them to sell,” the US President noted.
According to a report, US-based chipmakers, like Qualcomm and Intel, lobbied, and quietly pressed the US government to ease restrictions on the sale of equipment and services to the Chinese tech giant. It was reported that executives from Intel and Xilinx Inc attended a meeting in late May with the US Commerce Department to discuss a response to Huawei’s placement on the entity list. “This isn’t about helping Huawei. It’s about preventing harm to American companies,” one of the people was quoted as saying.
Reportedly, out of $70 billion that Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to US firms including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology Inc. The Chinese tech giant also works with companies like Google and Microsoft, and uses their software in phones and computers. Further, telecom giants like Vodafone and EE also shrug their shoulders and followed other companies in cutting ties with the company in the European market.