This morning, Reuters reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce has allowed Huawei a temporary reprieve with very limited scope, which will allow the company to purchase American-made goods to maintain existing carrier networks, and to provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets.
The company is still prohibited from buying American parts and components to manufacture new products without license approvals that likely will be denied.
The roll back, which is in effect for 90 days, suggests changes to Huawei’s supply chain may have immediate, far-reaching and unexpected consequences.
Reuters quotes Kevin Wolf, a former US DOC employee, who says:
“It appears the intention is to limit unintended impacts on third parties who use Huawei equipment or systems. It seems they’re trying to prevent network blackouts.”
For smartphone customers, the reprieve may allow Huawei to deliver Android Q updates (given the proximity to the likely release-time of mid August) to existing handsets, but the exemption is very clear – this will not allow Huawei to license Android (or buy hardware / components) to manufacture new models or new handsets from existing ranges.
Absent some sort of more permanent rollback of the bans, it remains our opinion that Huawei is in deep trouble.