Huawei has received a brief reprieve in the United States, with the company’s relationship with Microsoft gaining a slight boost. The US Department of Commerce has approved another 90-day window for the Chinese company.
With the reprieve, Microsoft is able to grant or deny applications and allow licenses for products exported by Huawei. This means Huawei will have extended access to Microsoft’s software on PC. However, it is worth noting this remains a temporary solution and licenses are still scheduled to be revoked.
The change also does little to help Huawei in its mobile business. The DoC’s reprieve does not cover Google and Android.
Earlier this year, the Trump government issued a trade ban on Huawei. U.S. tech companies were prevented from dealing with the Chinese company. Google complied, essentially shutting Huawei out from its services and damaging its chances in the smartphone market.
Microsoft has been far more supportive than Google. Redmond has vocally voiced concerns about the government’s actions.
Microsoft President and chief lawyer Brad Smith said the treatment of Huawei by the U.S. government has been “un-American”. In the summer, Microsoft joined with gaming rivals Nintendo and Sony to protest Trump’s Chinese tariffs, including Huawei. In the letter, the gaming giants (considered the “big three” of the industry) say U.S. tariffs placed on China will harm the console industry.
With the new 90-day window, Huawei can buy software from Microsoft to run internally. It also allows the company to develop updates for its Windows-based devices. However, we doubt the window will give Huawei the confidence to build any new Windows 10 devices.