Huawei is being given another 90-day reprieve by the U.S. government, following the Temporary General License (TGL) issued back in May. That provides the company with three more months to continue purchasing goods from U.S. companies. While this extension might sound like a step towards dropping the Entity List import/export ban for good, the government is clear that the extra few months are merely meant to "afford consumers across America the necessary time to transition away from Huawei equipment."
In the same announcement, the U.S. Department of Commerce also stated that it has identified 46 more Huawei affiliates to add to the Entity List, which already contains over 100 people and organizations connected to the company. Any imports or exports of items not covered by the details of the TGL will require applying for a license from the Bureau of Industry and Security, "with a presumption of denial."
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross further explained the intention behind the additional 90-day extension:
“As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognize that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption. Simultaneously, we are constantly working at the Department to ensure that any exports to Huawei and its affiliates do not violate the terms of the Entity Listing or Temporary General License.”
Huawei's had a turbulent time over the last year. The company was accused of violating Iran sanctions, with its CFO being detained by authorities over related charges. Public plans to ban Huawei's telecom equipment started at around the same time. (There was also a great but peripherally unrelated story about Huawei being the target of an FBI sting regarding laser/diamond-related espionage.) Finally, Huawei was banned from importing U.S. goods in May, which had unanticipated repercussions ranging from a loss of access to Google's apps and ARM chipset designs, to a potential ejection from standards groups like the Wi-Fi Alliance. Although the company has maintained some growth on paper for the first half of the year, other indicators point at serious declines in sales that might manifest more clearly over the next two quarters.
Google started lobbying a few months back for an additional extension to the ban, and based on today's news, those efforts appear to have been successful. The extended license kicks in as of today, August 19, and lasts for an additional 90 days, presumably extending to November 17th.
- U.S. Department of Commerce