The US has softened its stance against Huawei to enable American companies to cooperate with the Chinese telecoms giant on 5G standards.
In a press release, the US Commerce Department wrote: “This action is meant to ensure Huawei’s placement on the Entity List in May 2019 does not prevent American companies from contributing to important standards-developing activities despite Huawei’s pervasive participation in standards-development organizations.”
While there’s fierce debate over whether Huawei’s equipment poses a national security risk to the West, few will argue the innovation and talent of the company.
Huawei is the world’s largest telecoms vendor and is an active contributor to new standards. In fact, a report from Strategy Analytics suggests Huawei has provided more overall contributions to end-to-end 5G standards than any other company in the world.
“According to our assessment, leading infrastructure vendors – Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia – made more significant contributions to 5G standards than other studied companies,” said Sue Rudd, Director of Networks and Platforms Service at Strategy Analytics.
“Huawei leads in terms of overall contributions to the end-to-end 5G standards, while Ericsson leads in TSG [Technical Specification Groups] / WG [Working Groups] chairmanship and Nokia in approved/agreed ratio of 5G contribution papers.”
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced today that the lifting restrictions on working with the Chinese vendor are intended to ensure that American firms can continue influencing global standards.
“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation. This action recognises the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security,” explained Ross.
“The Department is committed to protecting US national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging US industry to fully engage and advocate for US technologies to become international standards.”
While it doesn’t appear like the US is ready to embrace Huawei with open arms, at least the move today enables cooperation between American and Chinese firms to continue when it comes to the development of global standards.
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