US Department of Commerce allows companies to work with Huawei on 5G standards19. June 2020
US Department of Commerce allows companies to work with Huawei on 5G standards
PALO ALTO, 19.6.2020
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Monday that despite the continued crackdown by Washington on the Chinese company, American companies will allow Huawei to cooperate with Huawei in setting standards for 5G networks.
Since Huawei was added to the U.S. list of companies — a blacklist for trade — in May 2019, American companies must obtain special permission from the Department of Commerce to do business with Huawei and its affiliates. This rule change allows companies to disclose US technologies to the Chinese telecom giant without a license if this is done for the purpose of developing 5G standards.
The amendment is designed to ensure that Huawei’s placement on the list of entities “does not prevent American companies from contributing to important standard development activities despite Huawei’s pervasive participation in standards development organizations,” the Ministry of Commerce announced.
In recent years, Huawei has become a world leader in setting 5G standards.
In a study by the German patent statistics company IPlytics, Huawei took first place in the development of 5G standards worldwide with 3,147 patents registered by January 2020, followed by Samsung, ZTE and LG Electronics.
A similar study was conducted by Boston-based consulting firm Strategy Analytics, which analyzed over 600 member companies of 3GPP, an international telecommunications standards development organization, and found that Huawei is a leader in the development of 5G standards.
“We believe that leading infrastructure providers – Huawei , Ericsson and Nokia – have made more significant contributions to 5G standards than any other company surveyed,” said Sue Rudd, Director of Strategy Analytics. “Huawei is a leader in terms of total contributions to end-to-end 5G standards,” she added.
The Huawei ban, which was imposed last May, has effectively suspended technology cooperation between U.S. companies and the Chinese mobile phone giant, a state of affairs that many government officials and technology industry players have warned of and which will hamper the U.S.’s ability to participate in the global 5G standards-setting process.
“The confusion resulting from the May 2019 entity list update had inadvertently excluded U.S. companies from some technical standards discussions, putting them at a strategic disadvantage,” said Naomi Wilson, senior director of policy for Asia at the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade organization representing companies such as Apple, Qualcomm and Intel.
The amendment to the Huawei ban announced at the beginning of the week aims to eliminate these disadvantages. “The United States will not abandon its leadership role in global innovation. This action recognises the importance of using American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“The Department is committed to protecting the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States by encouraging U.S. industry to become fully engaged and committed to ensuring that U.S. technologies become international standards,” he added.
A Huawei spokesman said in a statement that following the announcement of the US rule change, the company “intends to continue to engage in honest discussions on standards for new technologies with our colleagues, including those in the US, that contribute to the technological progress of society as a whole.
The announcement by the Department of Commerce was made on the same day that a further development in the drama between the US and Huawei took place. Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is fighting against her extradition from Canada to the US on charges of bank fraud, has put forward a new argument in her defense, as court documents released on Monday show.
Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, claims that the case the US has brought to Canada is “so full of deliberate and reckless errors” that it violates her rights.
Meng was detained in Vancouver on December 1, 2018 at the request of the United States, where she is accused of bank fraud and is charged with misleading HSBC Holdings about Huawei’s operations in Iran.