The ban will now come into effect on February 16, 2020.

What you need to know

  • It has been nearly six months now since Huawei was added to the U.S. Entity List.
  • The ban effectively forbids the company from having any dealings with U.S. companies.
  • Following two previous reprieves, the company is being granted another 90-day stay on the ban.

The ongoing feud between Huawei and the U.S. government is fraught with ups and downs. After the Trump administration supposedly launched an irreparable salvo against the Chinese giant’s business by placing it on the Entity List and forbidding any trade activity between it and American firms, it then allowed Huawei to continue procuring some materials from U.S. suppliers for 90 more days.

Following a second 90-day reprieve, the Commerce Department is yet again giving the perceived national security threat (Huawei) an additional three months’ lease on life (via The Verge). Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross justified the previous extension as being aimed at helping rural companies reliant on Huawei’s products to continue operating and to give them ample time to transition to another networking vendor. Though that may be presented as the official reasoning yet again, the repeated extensions are likely also part of a broader push-and-pull strategy employed by the U.S. government to apply economic pressure on China in order to extract concessions in the ongoing trade war.

As the documents state, the Commerce Department has decided to “remove the date of November 18, 2019, and substitute the date of February 16, 2020” for when the ban will take effect in its entirety — unless it’s delayed once again. Huawei can continue purchasing certain components from U.S. companies till that time. It will also allow Huawei to keep updating its existing lineup of smartphones with new software.

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