Trump gives Huawei a big break

Business Insider US
Google was forced to suspend some major services for Huawei last month.
  • US President Donald Trump has said US firms can continue selling to Huawei, apparently contradicting a Commerce Department trade blacklist on the Chinese tech firm.
  • Trump told a press conference at the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday: "We're allowing them to sell."
  • Trump said Huawei would likely come up during renewed trade talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping, but refused to say that the firm was off the blacklist.
  • His remarks appeared to be a concession to China, after the two countries agreed on Friday to a trade-war truce on the sidelines of the summit.
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US president Donald Trump has said American firms are allowed to continue trading with Huawei, in an apparent concession after initial discussions with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The US Commerce Department blacklisted Huawei last month, meaning US firms are not permitted to sell to the Chinese firm without a licence, although many firms have worked around the block. Trump's remarks come as he and Xi Jinping agreed a trade war truce while at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday.

Read: If you own a Huawei phone in South Africa, here is everything you need to know about the Google crisis

Speaking at a press conference during the G20 summit in Japan, the president said: "I did agree to allow our companies — you know, jobs, I like our companies selling things to other people. So I allowed that to happen. Very complex things. Not easy — this is not things that are easy to make.

"Very few companies are able to do it, but a tremendous amount of money. Our companies were very upset. These companies are great companies you know all of them. But they weren't exactly happy with it. But we're allowing that, because that wasn't national security."

He added: "We're allowing them to sell."

Trump's remarks apparently contradict the Commerce Department ban, and he refused to confirm that Huawei would be formally removed from the blacklist.

He said Huawei would come up as a subject right at the end of renewed trade talks with China.

Last month, Google was forced to revoke Huawei's licence to the Google Mobile Suite (GMS), which includes applications such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Google search.

This could affect millions of South African Huawei cellphone owners.

Huawei is the biggest seller of smartphones in South Africa, after Samsung. 

South Africa is an important and growing market for Huawei. The company said earlier this year that it hoped to outsell Samsung to become number one in the local market. 

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