San Francisco: Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, the Trump administration is mulling to issue licenses to some USA firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Chinese telecom giant Huawei, the media reported on Thursday. The move may be meant to ease tensions between the U.S. and China, as senior officials from both nations are meeting this week in an attempt to strike a trade deal. One of the biggest casualties of the trade ban has been the Mate 30 series, as the new Huawei flagships aren't allowed to ship with Google's services.
Huawei has persistently denied any accusations of wrongdoing, while the United States has never produced any evidence to support its claims that the company's networking equipment represents a threat to national security. The ban prevented U.S. companies such as Google from selling components and providing software updates to Huawei without government approval.
USA companies can seek a license for specific products to be exempted from the ban.
The Trump administration will be issuing those licenses, according to the New York Times. The U.S. Commerce Department has received more than 130 applications from companies for licenses to sell U.S. goods to Huawei, Reuters reported in August. The Commerce Department told the Times, "as of right this moment, the status quo holds".
The move comes as the two countries are set to meet later this week in Washington for talks to end their 15-month trade war. Tensions mounted after US administration expanded its blacklist on Monday by adding 28 Chinese entities, including top artificial intelligence startups, over human rights concerns.
It's unclear if any USA companies have actually received licenses to deal with Huawei in the wake of the announcement though.