US companies are now allowed to work with Huawei, but only on standards

The US government seems to have realised that banning all contact with Huawei has its downsides.

Scott Bicheno

June 16, 2020

1 Min Read
Tense relations between United States and China. Concept of conflict and stress

The US government seems to have realised that banning all contact with Huawei has its downsides.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced a new rule, providing an exception to the restrictions placed on US companies interacting with Huawei as a result of it being placed on the entity list. Apparently worried that it will prevent them getting involved in the standards setting process, tech that would usually require an export license before it can be shared with Huawei is now exempt is the purpose of the sharing is standards development.

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation,” said Ross. “This action recognizes the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security. The Department is committed to protecting U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging U.S. industry to fully engage and advocate for U.S. technologies to become international standards.”

This is what happens when you get too trigger happy with imposing new rules and sanctions; the law of unintended consequences kicks in. The US government is always banging on about what an important strategic thing 5G is, but then makes rules that prevent US companies from participating in the process of developing it. Doh!

On the flip side, however, if the US is so convinced that Chinese companies will steal US intellectual property given half the chance, doesn’t this expose it once more? This is the dilemma of globalization, from which the US has profited so much. If you want to do business with the rest of the world, that will inevitably include countries you’re not on good terms with. Solving that conundrum is one of the major challenges of current times.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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