US To Allow Huawei And US Firms To Develop 5G Standards

The US Department of Commerce is close to signing off on a new rule that would allow US companies to work with China’s Huawei Technologies on setting standards for next generation 5G networks. — Reuters pic

The US Department of Commerce is close to signing off on a new rule that would allow US companies to work with China’s Huawei Technologies on setting standards for next generation 5G networks. — Reuters pic

Companies from around the world typically participate in the talks, which establish technical rules underpinning global technology.

The Commerce Department past year banned the sale of USA technology to Huawei, saying it had "reasonable cause to believe" the Chinese company was "involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States".

US officials have said that Huawei has links to the Chinese government and that its telecom equipment could be used to disrupt or spy on American communications.

Last month, a group of Republican senators urged Trump administration officials to allow USA companies to participate in standards discussions alongside Huawei. The new rules will allow US companies to join the standards of which Huawei is also a member. It is unclear how long the full process will take or if another agency will object.

"Confusing and unclear USA policies have inadvertently caused many US companies to lose their seat at the table to competitors from other countries, namely China", said Naomi Wilson, senior director of policy for the Information Technology Industry Council, a policy group that includes Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp.as members. Most likely, American companies will work with other companies including Huawei to develop certain standards. While the Trump administration wants USA tech firms to be competitive with Huawei, Wilson notes that the US government's strict rules on Huawei "have inadvertently caused USA companies to lose their seat at the table to Huawei and others on the entity list".

The sources also pointed out that the rule in question would apparently apply to Huawei only, and does not mention other Chinese entities. Huawei has pleaded not guilty in the case.

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However, the Bank expects the fall in GDP should be temporary and says activity "should pick up relatively rapidly". Average weekly earnings are expected to shrink by 2% this year, reflecting the fall in wages for furloughed workers.

A Department of Commerce spokesman declined to comment. A Huawei spokeswoman also declined to comment.

"I know that Commerce is working on that rule", a senior State Department official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The U.S. export ban has made for awkward relations at standards meetings, said Kevin Wolf, a former senior Commerce official who is now a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

The development comes after the executive order issued by President Donald Trump in mid May 2019, that declared a national security emergency against Chinese firms.

In the telecommunications industry, 5G, or fifth-generation wireless networks, are expected to power everything from high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars. This is because it is important to set industry standards, which could bring in billions of dollars in profits.

The foundation oversees promising semiconductor technology developed with Pentagon support and, as Reuters has reported, wants to ensure those outside the United States can help develop its open-source technology.

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