20:21 GMT05 March 2021
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    Washington has toned down its pressure on the Chinese company since first adding it to the entity list, allowing certain US goods to be sold under special licence in recent months. But a new report suggests a possible change of mood is not far off.

    US President Donald Trump's administration is considering toughening its pressure on Chinese tech giant Huawei, having been disappointed with the effects the current measures have had on limiting the company's capacity to deploy 5G networks world-wide, Reuters reported, citing anonymous sources.

    At the moment, US regulations allow Washington to ban American companies from selling sensitive technologies to firms on the so-called entity list, whilst having little control over how technologies of US origin are managed by foreign companies. This resulted in Huawei finding replacements outside the US market, thus rendering the White House's attempts to prevent the company from selling 5G equipment useless.

    U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019
    © REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
    U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019

    According to Reuters, Trump's administration is looking at amending the De Minimis Rule and Direct Product Rule, with both of them addressing what power Washington has over US-made technologies used in foreign-made products. These changes are expected to expand US authority, allowing it to forbid foreign companies using American software or technologies, even non-sensitive ones, from selling certain products to enlisted firms. Reuters' sources claim that the changes, if they are adopted, will only affect Huawei.

    The media could not obtain solid information about how much progress has been made in working out the amendments needed, but noted that China hawks in the administration are hoping for their swift adoption and implementation. Neither Huawei, nor the US Department of Commerce, which is responsible for the implementation of restrictive measures in trade, have commented on the report.

    US Huawei Crackdown

    The US banned Huawei's telecommunications equipment from American soil and banned its firms from selling sensitive technologies to the Chinese tech giant in May 2019. Washington accused Huawei of assisting Beijing's alleged espionage efforts and called on all countries to ban the giant's equipment from being used in national 5G networks. Both China and Huawei denied Washington's accusations, with the latter vowing to sue the US for its discriminative move.

    The initial measures led to many prominent software and technological companies to cut their ties to Huawei, with companies like Google and Intel stopping their supply of components needed for its smartphones. Some of them later determined that some products didn't contain sensitive technology and resumed their supplies at least partially.

    Since then, the White House has toned down its pressure, starting to issue temporary waivers to some US companies to sell certain non-crucial technologies to Huawei.


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