US companies can work with Huawei on 5G standards

The Huawei logo in lights
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The US Commerce Department announced on Monday it has amended a ban targeting Huawei.

Previously, Huawei was added to the US Entity List under Export Administration Regulations but now, per the amended ban, US companies can work alongside Huawei to develop 5G standards.

US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, announced on Monday a new rule “ensuring US industry’s ability to more fully contribute to standards-development activities in the telecommunications sector.”

Under the new rule, companies can now disclose tech information to Huawei and companies working with Huawei for the purpose of standards development without needing an export license. In amending the Huawei Entity Listing, the rule aims to advance US national security and foreign policy interests by promoting US leadership and participation in standards development bodies.

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation. This action recognizes the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security,” stated US Department of 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,” Ross continued.

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) told CNBC it welcomed the move by the US Commerce Department.

Naomi Wilson, senior director of policy for Asia at ITI said: “It is exceptionally important for US companies to be at the table. Being forced to cede their seat at the table to the likes of Huawei no less, was in nobody’s interest, except the Chinese.

"The last thing we want to see is unintended consequence that negatively affects US companies’ competitiveness.”

While the updated rule means the US tech industry can work with Huawei to develop 5G standards, disclosures for commercial purposes remain subject to Export Administration Regulations and all other applicable requirements.