Five months after the Trump administration blacklisted China’s Huawei Technologies, its business seems alive and well while American firms still don’t know whether they can work with the Chinese company or not.
The Department of Commerce in May added Huawei to what’s known as the entity list in an effort to block U.S. companies from selling components to China’s largest technology company, which it accuses of being a threat to America’s national security. Huawei has denied those claims.
Despite those actions, Huawei reported last week that its revenue grew 24% in the first ninth months of 2019, boosted by a 26% jump in smartphone shipments. There are also signs that U.S. efforts to block the company from the development of 5G technology have yet to make a big dent: Huawei said it has signed more than 60 5G commercial contracts to date worldwide.
The entity listing, which requires American firms to obtain a government license in order to sell to blacklisted firms, has caused complications for U.S. companies.
Tech leaders and their lawyers have argued for months in closed-door meetings with Trump administration officials that the blacklisting of Huawei, one of their biggest customers, is detrimental to their businesses.
Many industry executives are confused about the administration’s end goals and haven’t been able to get clarity on when license approvals will be offered, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Intel Corp., the U.S.’ biggest chipmaker with plants in Oregon and other states, has resumed shipments. The company also has facilities in Ireland, Israel and China — enabling it to argue that a chunk of the intellectual property in its chips isn’t created in the U.S.