Huawei's battle with the United States over trade bans is still very much alive, nearly a year after the White House initially called Huawei a security risk. Several American companies have continued to sell components to Huawei under special licenses, and now the Commerce Department and the Defense Department are sparring over more limits on Huawei trade.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that new rules were in development that would further limit U.S. companies from supplying Huawei. "They are works in progress that will come out near-term," he said during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
However, the rules are being opposed by the U.S. Defense Department. It shares the same concerns that Qualcomm and other U.S. suppliers have been telling the White House: that blocking trade with Huawei will cut off revenue that could be used for further product research. "We have to be conscious of sustaining those [technology] companies’ supply chains and those innovators," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said today.
It was believed that the long-awaited trade deal between China and the United States would relax the limits imposed on Huawei — President Trump even said as much. However, the initial phase of the trade agreement didn't change Huawei's situation at all, and senior US officials have even warned that a trade deal with the post-Brexit United Kingdom could fall apart if the country allows Huawei to help build its 5G network.
Meanwhile, Huawei has continued to decrease its dependency on US technology. The company is working on a completely new operating system, as well as replacements for Google products (like a mapping application).