It may soon be able to add Google services to its phones.

What you need to know

  • The U.S. government announced its intent to allow some companies to resume supplies of ‘non-sensitive’ tech to Huawei earlier this month.
  • It has now finally gotten around to making decisions on those requests.
  • The department has received over 290 such requests from different firms.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed to the Fox Business Network (via Reuters) that his department has started issuing responses to over 290 requests from different American companies to resume supplying some goods to Huawei.

News that the Trump administration was considering such licenses — purportedly under direct orders from the President — broke last month. Secretary Ross then confirmed that his department would start issuing licenses “very shortly” a little over two weeks ago, and it seems that’s now.

“We now have been starting to send out the 20-day intent to deny letters and some approvals,” said the Secretary. Companies like Intel, Micron, and others were already circumventing the ban on Huawei by shying away from labeling their products as ‘American-made.’ The licenses, if granted to these companies, could allow them to go back to selling their wares to Huawei without the need to resort to legal loopholes.

Far more importantly, a license granted to Google could enable it to continue supporting its mobile services — things like the Play Store, Gmail, and Maps — on Huawei’s newest handsets, like the Mate 30 Pro, which we labeled ‘the best phone you shouldn’t buy’ because of its lack of Google services. With its already spectacular performance in the last quarter, being able to sell phones with the backing of Google would put Huawei well on its way to make up for lost time and continue vigorously pursuing its goal of unseating Samsung as the largest smartphone maker by market share.

Huawei is dominating the Chinese smartphone market

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