Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:34

US firms allowed to work with Huawei on 5G standards

By
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Courtesy Commerce Department

American companies have been given permission to work with Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies when it comes to setting standards for the telecommunications sector.

Huawei was placed on the Entity List in May last year, a blacklist which prevents US firms from selling goods to it that have more than 25% American content, unless they have obtained a licence.

The US Department of Commerce said in a statement that US participation and leadership would influence the future of 5G, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and other technologies.

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation. This action recognises the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“The department is committed to protecting US national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging US industry to fully engage and advocate for US technologies to become international standards.”

Under the new rule, any technology that would not have needed a licence to be disclosed to Huawei before placement on the Entity List can now be disclosed for standards development in a standards-development body without need for an export licence.

Washington has campaigned for more than two years to try and push countries it considers allies to avoid using 5G equipment from Huawei in their networks. Thus far, only Australia and Vietnam have said openly that they would follow the US' lead.

Japan, South Korea and Poland have indicated that they are likely to toe the US line, but have yet to make public pronouncements about what policy they would follow.

The UK broke ranks with the US in January, saying it would allow Huawei to supply up to a third of equipment for non-core parts of its 5G networks but has more recently twice changed stance, once saying it would remove Huawei gear completely by 2023 and later saying it would block the use of such equipment after 2023.

Since then, India, the UAE and Cambodia have said they would allow Huawei to participate in 5G trials.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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