The United States may issue a 90-day license extension on November 18th to allow U.S. companies to continue doing business with Huawei.
According to Reuters, two sources familiar with the matter said that the Trump administration’s plans changed and it now plans to renew the temporary extension for the same 90-day period as in August. Initially, the administration planned a two-week extension with a longer one in the works. However, it hadn’t been finalized due to regulatory hurdles.
The sources said the new extension will be announced Monday when the initial 90-day extension is set to expire.
The extension allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods to help minimize the disruption for customers, many of which operate networks in rural America. It came after Huawei was added to an economic blacklist in May over national security concerns.
The U.S. has accused the China-based company of using backdoors in its equipment to spy on citizens, which it would then give to the Chinese government. The U.S. has also charged the company with 13 counts of bank and wire fraud. Both of these have yet to be proven in court. Huawei has denied all accusations.
A Huawei spokesperson told Reuters that the company doesn’t comment on rumours and speculation. The Commerce Department also declined to comment.
Considering comments Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made to Fox Business Network late last week, it looks like the extension could be to help rural telecom companies again.
“There are enough problems with telephone service in the rural communities – we don’t want to knock them out. So, one of the main purposes of the temporary general licenses is to let those rural guys continue to operate,” Ross said.
Further, the Commerce Department is considering granting individual licenses for U.S. firms to sell components to Huawei. While the department has received over 200 requests, it’s not expected to act on them on Monday.