US firms can sell technology to Huawei: Trump (2nd Lead)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2018 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House for the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, in Washington D.C., the United States, on Jan. 24, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, urging his NATO ally to limit its military actions in northern Syria, according to a White House statement. (Xinhua/Ting Shen/IANS)

In a much-needed respite to Huawei that stands to lose nearly $30 billion in two years owing to the US trade ban, President Donald Trump on Saturday said American firms could start selling technology to the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant as long as the sales did not involve equipment that threaten the national security.

According to the South China Morning Post, Trump, said the decision on whether to take Huawei off the Commerce Department’s entities list would be left to a later date, adding he will have a meeting on the same subject next week.

“We are leaving Huawei towards the end. We are seeing what goes with the trade agreement,” Trump said during a press conference in Osaka following the Group of 20 summit, suggesting that fully lifting the ban on Huawei would rest on a deal to end the trade war.

Speaking at a press conference, Trump reportedly said China and the US can be “strategic partners”.

Earlier, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to resume trade talks on the sidelines of the summit and put a hold on new American tariffs on Chinese goods.

Trump agreed with Jinping that the US will not implement new tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports “at least for the time being”.

Trump said China had agreed to buy a “tremendous” amount of US goods to reduce the trade imbalance. The US will give China a list of the goods it wants them to buy, according to the report.

On May 15, Trump had blacklisted Huawei with a national security order; the US had publicly asked its allies to steer clear of using Huawei products over concerns that the equipment could be used by the Chinese government to obtain private information.

Huawei responded by filing a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, 2019.

The Chinese tech giant also asked for an end to US’ state-sanctioned campaign against it, arguing that it would “not deliver cybersecurity”.

Hit by the US trade ban, Huawei is looking at a massive $30 billion loss in revenue over the next two years, the Chinese smartphone giant’s Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said this month.

Ren compared the firm to a “badly damaged” plane, estimating that the company’s revenues could miss targets by around $30 billion this year and the next but he expects a revival in 2021.

Google has decided to end support for its Android operating system and apps on Huawei devices.

Although the Chinese communications giant aims to launch its own operating system called “Hongmeng” to replace the Android OS on its smartphones but the OS has to see the light of the day and then users’ approval.

The absence of pre-installed apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram has become a double whammy for Huawei.