Huawei sign at CES trade show.

Huawei blasts 90-day trading licence extension as ‘unfair’

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Huawei has been granted another 90-day extension that allows it to continue to doing business with US firms, but the Chinese company has said it will make little difference and it continues to be treated “unfairly”.

The last six months has seen much of Huawei’s Western business suffer after the Trump administration added it to the Entity List over cyber-security concerns, blocking it from working with US companies.

The impact has had numerous knock-on effects, including launching its latest flagship smartphone without access to Google apps and growing trepidation over its involvement in burgeoning 5G networks in countries around the world.

The US’s latest 90-day licence extension aims to minimise disruption for its customers, many of which operate networks in rural America.

But Huawei expressed disappointment at the decision, feeling that it does little to provide clarity on the limbo state it currently faces when doing business with the West.

“Extending the Temporary General License won't have a substantial impact on Huawei's business either way,” the Chinese firm said. “This decision does not change the fact that Huawei continues to be treated unfairly either. We have long held that the decision by the US Department of Commerce to add Huawei to the Entity List has caused more harm to the US than to Huawei.”

It added: “This has done significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business and has already disrupted collaboration and undermined the mutual trust on which the global supply chain depends. We call on the US government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List.”

The extension comes as the US and China try to resolve a trade war that has lasted for more than a year, with Huawei one of its most visible targets.

Beijing reiterated on Tuesday that it hopes Chinese companies will be treated fairly.

“We urge the US to stop abusing export controls to discriminate against the firms of another country in the name of national security, and to stop politicising a trade problem,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Last month Huawei received some good news after Germany said it would not block it from the list of vendors who can build its 5G networks.

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