U.S. President Donald Trump has extended an executive order barring U.S. companies from working with companies deemed to be of national security risk or buying telecommunications equipment until May 2021, Reuters reported. Although the ban does not specify specific companies, it has been used to almost shut down U.S. business with Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, which can no longer sell products in the U.S. or work with companies such as Google or ARM to obtain key software and licenses.
The White House issued its initial executive order about a year ago to bar U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei because of concerns about the Chinese company’s ability to provide equipment for the country’s network infrastructure, especially as the U.S. is expanding 5G.
But since the order was issued in May 2019, the blanket ban has not actually taken effect. While Huawei has yet to work with companies such as Google on new devices, the company has obtained a series of temporary generic licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce that allow it to still support existing hardware through software updates.
That may be about to change: the latest 45-day temporary licence agreement extension expires on May 15, after an extension was granted in May, August, November and March 2020. Neither Huawei nor the Ministry of Commerce has said whether it will be possible to extend the interim license agreement again.