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U.S. Firms May Soon Get Approval To Restart Huawei Sales: Report

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The U.S. may approve certain companies to re-start new sales to Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei in as soon as two weeks, Reuters reported Sunday, citing a senior U.S. official.

According to the report, licenses will be issued to the U.S. companies on a case-by-case basis, starting in the next two to four week. Huawei is the world's largest telecom equipment maker.

At the G-20 summit in June, President Donald Trump said he would allow American companies to sell their products to Huawei that do not pose national security concerns.

U.S. chipmakers, including Intel, Qualcomm and Micron Technology, have reportedly lobbied intensely for sales to resume to Huawei. According to the Reuters report, Huawei spent $11 billion on purchase of components from U.S. companies in 2018.

The Trump administration blacklisted Huawei in early May on national security grounds. The ban was primarily aimed at keeping equipment made by the Chinese company out of the next generation of wireless network, 5G.

Huawei and another Chinese company ZTE are now major players in the 5G market as they manufacture and sell telecom equipment for 5G networks at competitive prices.

The U.S. has serious concerns about the security risks posed by Chinese technology companies, including Huawei and ZTE. Intelligence agencies are concerned that Huawei and other Chinese companies may be beholden to the Chinese government or the ruling Communist Party, raising the risk of espionage.

The blacklisting made it difficult for Huawei to sell products for which it relied on parts from U.S. suppliers. Major technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel and Xilinx cut ties with Huawei following the U.S. sanctions.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei is planning extensive layoffs at its U.S. operations as the company continues to struggle with its U.S. blacklisting.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ reported that layoffs will affect workers at Huawei's U.S.-based research and development subsidiary, Futurewei Technologies. The unit employs about 850 people in research labs across the U.S.

Huawei's Chinese employees in the U.S. are being given an option to return home and stay with the company, the report added.

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