World

US to approve some sales to Huawei

By AAP Newswire

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the government will issue licences to companies seeking to sell goods to China's Huawei where there is no threat to national security, leaving industry observers unsure about which products will pass muster.

Seeking to revive trade talks with China, US President Donald Trump last month announced American companies would be allowed to sell products to Huawei Technologies, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.

Trump's comments came after the US placed Huawei on the Commerce Department's so-called Entity List in May over national security concerns. US parts and components generally cannot be sold to those on the list without special licenses.

While American chipmakers welcomed Trump's announcement, many industry and government officials are confused about the new policy.

Speaking at a conference in Washington, Ross affirmed that Huawei would remain on the Entity List. However, he opened the door to some approvals.

"To implement the president's G20 summit directive two weeks ago, Commerce will issue licenses where there is no threat to US national security," Ross said.

"Within those confines, we will try to make sure that we don't just transfer revenue from the US to foreign firms," he said.

Separately, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said relaxed US government restrictions on Huawei could help the technology giant but would only be in place for a limited time.

The United States has accused Huawei of stealing American intellectual property and violating Iran sanctions.

It also has launched a lobbying effort to persuade US allies to keep Huawei out of next-generation 5G telecommunications infrastructure, citing concerns the company could spy on customers. Huawei has denied the allegations.

The United States has engaged Beijing in a tit-for-tat trade war over accusations that China steals American intellectual property (IP) and forces US companies to transfer their technology to Chinese firms to gain access to markets.