Economy

Microsoft gets okay to export 'mass-market' software to Huawei

Microsoft gets okay to export 'mass-market' software to Huawei”

A bipartisan group of Senators wants the Trump administration to suspend its approval of USA technology sales to China's Huawei, saying the manufacturer of cell phones and 5G network equipment poses risks to national security.

On Monday, the US Commerce Department extended a temporary license to allow American companies to do business with Huawei for another 90 days.

The letter, which was signed by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton and provided to Reuters, demands congressional leaders "be notified prior to the issuance of any licences to United States firms to sell components to Huawei and its affiliates". "National security experts widely agree that Chinese companies cooperate heavily with the Chinese Communist Party, and the Chinese government is thought to exercise considerable influence over Huawei, in particular".

It wasn't immediately clear, however, which products are included under that classification but federal officials said the resumption of licenses is intended for components for which there is little security risk.

In case you've forgotten, Huawei got caught up by the United States back in May this year being accused of working closely with the Chinese government for "spying". Adding Huawei to the trade blacklist was part of a broad USA push against the Chinese company, which the United States also accuses of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Huawei has denied those claims. Schumer and Cotton recently have raised other concerns about China. They also asked that Congress be given a report outlining the criteria for determining whether or not each license would pose a threat.

This week, the U.S. Commerce Department started granting licenses to some U.S. companies that supply Huawei, one of the biggest makers of smartphones and computer-network equipment. That likely includes chips and other parts used in Huawei cellphones or laptops.

Software giant Microsoft has received permission from the federal government to sell software to Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies, which for months was barred from doing business with US entities.

A USA official said on Wednesday that of roughly 300 license requests, about half have been processed, with roughly half of those - or one-quarter - approved and another quarter have received notices of intent to deny. Google declined to comment on Thursday.

President Trump has suggested he could ease up on Huawei as part of a larger trade deal.

Huawei has said its being "treated unfairly" by the US.



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