The Trump administration stunningly reversed itself this week when it announced U.S. companies would be able to work with Huawei on setting standards for equipment and networks used to implement 5G. 5G is an ultra-fast data network. Critics say it is used best for video-data collection and surveillance.
The U.S. had previously placed Huawei on its “entity list,” restricting sales of U.S. technology and parts to the company. The U.S. government considered such transactions with the Chinese telecom giant a national security concern.
It soon became clear to manufacturers however, that building specifications that allow equipment from different companies to work together would be more time consuming and expensive without access to Huawei’s equipment.
They pressured the administration to ease back the restrictions, and it seems as though they won.
The administration however, rejects the characterization that this is any kind of retreat.
“The change is really simply a clarification. It isn’t that we’re doing something to help Huawei. What we’re doing is something to make it easier for global standards to be symmetrical,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox News this week.
“This is to help make sure we have ubiquity in 5G,” Ross added.