Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): The United States on Monday announced temporary ease of restrictions to American companies using products of Chinese tech giant Huawei that was deemed as a threat to the national security by Washington.
The announcement was made by the US Commerce Department in order to help American companies do business with Huawei, CNN reported.
Last Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring US firms from using telecommunication equipment from sources that the administration deemed as national security threats.
The decision was undertaken amid an escalating trade war situation between China and the United States.
White House officials earlier declined to identify China and Huawei as the intended target of the executive order.
However, shortly after the order was issued, the US Commerce Department formally added Huawei to the list of companies the US government considers to be undermining American interests. By adding Huawei to the so-called Entity List, the Trump administration ensures Huawei will be covered by the new executive order.
Although Huawei does not do much business in the United States, the company is the sole provider of networking equipment to many rural American internet providers, who further said that it will take time -- or may be impossible -- to replace their Huawei technology with a rival's.
The department issued a temporary general license, effective for 90 days that lets Huawei buy US goods to maintain existing networks and continue providing wireless services. The company is still banned from buying US equipment to make new products.
"The Temporary General License grants operators time to make other arrangements and the Department space to determine the appropriate long term measures for Americans and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services," Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei earlier in the day said that the US temporary license didn't "make much sense," reiterating that the company was prepared for disruptions to its supply chain.
"We shall not narrow-mindedly exclude US chips. We shall grow together. But when there is a supply shortage, we have a backup," he said in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
The United States many times has publicly asked its allies to steer clear of using Huawei products over concerns that the equipment could be used by the Chinese government to obtain private information. (ANI)