Washington expected to extend licences for China’s Huawei Technologies for 6 months

US President Donald Trump is set to give China’s Huawei Technologies a two-week extension on a deadline to obtain licencing

huawei

Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song

US President Donald Trump is set to give China’s Huawei Technologies a two-week extension on a deadline to obtain licencing to trade with American firms. The current licences were originally due to expire today, but a six-month extension is also reportedly in the works.

The US blacklisted Huawei in May on suspicion of national security threats. As such, US firms can do business with the Chinese tech giant only if it acquires these licences. Furthermore, 46 Huawei affiliates were added to the blacklist, joining the more than 100 Huawei entities that were already banned from US business.

A six-month extension will be welcome relief for Huawei. Should the licences expire, the company would be barred from trading with US companies, hampering its business—Huawei heavily relies on US firms for components like semi-conductors.

Beijing would also view an extension favourably in the context of ongoing negotiations to end the near-two year Sino-American trade war. Trump is on record as stating that he sees Huawei as a bargaining chip in negotiations. A six-month extension—twice as long as the previous three-month licence reprieve—could smooth tensions between the two sides as discussions over “phase one” of a potential trade deal inch towards finalisation.