U.S. Companies Now Allowed to Work with Huawei on 5G Networks

Huawei 5G US

(Reuters) - The United States on Monday confirmed that it will amend its prohibitions on U.S. companies doing business with China’s Huawei to allow them to work together on setting standards for next-generation 5G networks.

The U.S. Commerce Department and other agencies signed off on the rule change, and it is awaiting publication in the Federal Register. The rule is set to be published as early as Tuesday.

Last year, the United Stages placed Huawei on the Commerce Department’s so-called “entity list,” which restricted sales of U.S. goods and technology to the company, citing national security.

Industry and government officials said the rule change should not be viewed as a sign of weakening U.S. resolve against Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker. 

They said the Huawei entity listing put the United States at a disadvantage in standards settings, where companies develop specifications to allow equipment from different companies to function together.

With U.S. companies uncertain what technology or information they were allowed to share, engineers from some U.S. firms reduced their participation, giving Huawei a stronger voice.

The amendment by Commerce is to ensure U.S. companies “full participation” in voluntary standards setting bodies, a person briefed on the matter said, and is in response to concerns from U.S. companies and lawmakers.

In the telecommunications industry, 5G, or fifth-generation wireless networks, are expected to power everything from high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars.

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