Huawei's $105 billion business at stake after USA broadside

Trump has signed an executive order to ban foreign telecoms equipment

The US Commerce Department said on Wednesday it was adding Huawei Technologies Co and 70 affiliates to its so-called "Entity List" in a move that bans the Chinese company from acquiring components and technology from USA firms without prior USA government approval.

First, the White House issued an "Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain", which boils down to granting the executive branch massive power to veto the use of "information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied, by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary". U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, stated that the ban is meant to "prevent American technology from being used by foreign-owned entities in ways that potentially undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests".

The US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said it would add Huawei and its affiliates to its "entity list" over alleged Iran sanctions violations. The new rules require Huawei to get USA government approval to buy American technology, said Kevin Wolf.

In Beijing, a Chinese Commerce Ministry official said,"China will take all necessary measures" to ensure the rights of Chinese companies.

While many countries agree that Huawei, and China, pose a spying threat to the Western telecommunications infrastructure, they are unwilling to take a firm stance against China due to the economic impact it would entail.

Chinese technology giant Huawei voiced its objections to the United States' recent move to "blacklist" the company, insisting the rash decision by President Donald Trump is in no one's interest.

The U.S. government will review license applications under a "policy of presumption of denial", according to a posting on the Federal Register, the U.S. government's daily journal.

At the same time, the US Commerce Department announced an effective ban on US companies selling or transferring US technology to Huawei.

But its business has come under pressure over the past year given mounting global scrutiny, led by USA allegations that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, a concern the company has said is unfounded. -China trade war. The company has always been seen as an espionage threat to the US due to its alleged connection with the Chinese government and the oversized influence it has in the deployment of 5G networks around the world.

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The moves expand a trade war between the United States and China.

At the same time, Beijing's diplomatic relations with Ottawa further soured as China formally arrested two Canadians on suspicion of snatching state secrets in a case seen as retaliation over Canada's arrest of a Huawei executive on a U.S. extradition request. The order would also permit the secretary to control the timing and manner of how U.S. companies would cease using equipment from barred foreign suppliers.

If Huawei has to do business with other suppliers, Purdy warns that US workers may be hurt along the way.

Canada said it is now making an assessment of security risks of 5G technology and won't be hurried into settling on whether to ban Huawei from wireless network construction in Canada, regardless of Trump's executive order.

China is also angry about Canada's arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in December. The company, they say, could use the equipment for espionage on behalf of China.

"It signals to USA friends and allies how far Washington is willing to go to block Huawei", said Adam Segal.

It would disrupt Huawei's business at a minimum and all but put it out of business in an extreme, while its US suppliers would also be hit, they said. -Chinese conflict over technology and trade.

The core issue with Huawei has been concerns over its coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies.

"We were beginning to ramp up our efforts [over a year ago] to increase the diversity of our suppliers so we don't have to rely so much on this problematic USA market", he said. He is a cybersecurity director at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.

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