The Trump administration has announced a 45-day extension stipulating that US tech firms may further collaborate with China’s Huawei Technologies.
The existing US license is due to expire on 16 February; Huawei has not commented on the matter yet.
The US move comes after Huawei Vice President and cybersecurity chief John Suffolk hit out on Friday at a recent Wall Street Journal report which said that the tech giant is capable of extracting data from mobile networks using "backdoors" in their 5G equipment.
The US hopes that if it "throws enough mud, some of it will stick", Suffolk said, also denying another series of US charges against Huawei which is blamed for covering up its involvement in projects in North Korea.
In a separate development this week, the US Justice Department accused the Chinese tech giant of conspiring "to misappropriate intellectual property" from six US companies, in a bid to expand its global business.
Huawei Rejects US Media Report on Its Stealing Mobile Data
On Thursday, Huawei Technologies rejected a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report claiming that the tech giant has a capability to extract data from mobile networks using "backdoors" in their 5G equipment.
“The Wall Street Journal is clearly aware that the US government can’t provide any evidence to support their allegations, and yet it still chose to repeat the lies being spread by these US officials. This reflects The Wall Street Journal’s bias against Huawei and undermines its credibility," a Huawei spokesperson said.
The statement came after the WSJ cited US National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien as saying that Washington has evidence that Huawei can secretly retrieve “sensitive and personal” information in wireless 5G networks if it is granted access to a building with the necessary infrastructure.
The claims were preceded by the US House of Representatives passing in December a bill which bans the use of governmental funds to purchase communications equipment from companies that are “posing national security risks” to American networks, including Huawei.
“Companies like Huawei and its affiliates pose a significant threat to America’s commercial and security interests because a lot of communications providers rely heavily on their equipment”, the lawmakers argued.
US Playing Hardball With Huawei
The US initiated its crackdown on Huawei in May when the Department of Commerce banned the company’s equipment from being supplied to American soil. Washington also severely limited US companies' ability to sell software and components to the Chinese tech giant, requiring them to get special permissions in order to do so.
The White House justified the move by accusing the company of leaving backdoors in its products to enable surveillance by the Chinese government, allegations that both Beijing and Huawei reject.
Despite the fact that the Department of Commerce blacklisted Huawei, the Treasury has repeatedly extended licences allowing US tech companies to continue doing business with the tech behemoth to prevent billions of dollars in lost earnings.