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Ross Says Special Licenses For US Firms To Do Business With Huawei Coming Soon

Ross Says Special Licenses For US Firms To Do Business With Huawei Coming Soon
Dozens of Chinese companies have been placed by United States President Donald Trump in e so called ‘entity list’ of the US commerce department which has prevented the companies from making any purchase from American companies – including software and components.
Huawei was the first Chinese company in May this year to be put in the list citing national security risks from the use of the telecom equipment of the company. Last month, Trump added 28 more Chinese companies in the list which includes players in the artificial intelligence area such as SenseTime Group Ltd., Megvii Technology Ltd. and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co.
Those companies that are included in the list are barred from doing any business in the US as well as with any US companies without a special permission from the Trump administration which is given on a case to case basis. However, according to reports, some Chinese and American companies have maintained relationships with each other through their international subsidiaries. While the Chinese government has said that it would retaliate with a similar list of its own, the targeted Chinese companies have denied all allegations brought against them by the Trump administration.
“There is not any cyber security issue for us and there is no evidence from the U.S. to say that,” Edward Zhou, a Huawei vice president, said in an address earlier Sunday in Bangkok during the regional summit. “We predict that this year, we can almost keep up the same performance as last year, even under such great pressure from the U.S. government.”
But it is not only the Chinese firms that are suffering because of the ban - American companies too are feeling the pinch. This is specifically true for those American companies that used ot do regular business with Huawei. 
Following a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping in June this year, Trump had said that he had “easily” agreed allowing US companies to continue to have business relationship with Huawei. And a few weeks down the line, Trump said that the approval process for licenses to American companies to deal with Huawei would be expedited.
However no such licenses have so far been granted his administration. According to reports, in a meeting with advisers earlier this month, Trump has given the green signal for the approval of licenses. However no formal announcement for the same has been made so far.
According to US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the government has received 250 requests for those special licenses from American companies to do business with Huawei, and such licenses “will be forthcoming very shortly.”
“That’s a lot of applications -- it’s frankly more than we would’ve thought,” Ross said in an interview to Bloomberg. “Remember too with entity lists there’s a presumption of denial. So the safe thing for these companies would be to assume denial, even though we will obviously approve quite a few of them.”
Arguing that it is possible for Huawei to purchase some of components that are non-national security sensitive telecom items from its rivals all across the world - including South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, the industry has been contending the US government to grant permission to such shipments.


Christopher J. Mitchell

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