U.S. posts rule allowing U.S. companies to work with Huawei on 5G and other standards

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Commerce released a new rule on Tuesday that allows U.S. companies to work with Huawei in China to develop standards for 5G and other cutting-edge technologies despite restrictions on doing business with telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

ARCHIVE PHOTO: People pass a Huawei store amid an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing, China, on May 18, 2020. REUTERS / Thomas Peter

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Reuters reported on Monday that the rule had been approved and sent to the Federal Register, the official US publication for rules. It was posted for public inspection on the Federal Register's website on Tuesday and is scheduled to be formally published on Thursday.

The rule alters Huawei's "entity listing", which restricts US sales of goods and technology to the company. The United States put Huawei on the list in May 2019, citing national security concerns.

The amendment authorizes the launch of certain technology for Huawei and its affiliates if it contributes "to the revision or development of a" standard "in a" standards organization "."

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Industry and government officials said the entity listed the breech result in standard settings. With U.S. companies uncertain about the technology they could share, some U.S. engineers were not involved and Huawei gained a stronger voice, they said.

Huawei and 114 of its foreign affiliates on the list of entities "continue to participate in many important international standards organizations in which American companies also participate," says the new rule.

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“As international standards serve as a foundation for product development and help ensure product functionality, interoperability and safety,” he noted, “it is important for US technology leadership that US companies can work with these agencies to ensure that proposed US standards are fully considered. "

Naomi Wilson, of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents technology companies, said the rule is a "long-awaited step to clarify that American companies can participate in international standards bodies – even when certain listed entities are present" .

Boston attorney Andy Updegrove, who has represented more than 150 standards organizations, said he encountered a problem: not all standards consortia can meet the rule's requirements.

To do this, he said, some may change the way they work, but other foreigners cannot. "Overall, it is a big improvement, but it will not help US companies in all cases," said Updegrove.

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Huawei said in a statement that it wants to continue discussions on standards with colleagues, including in the United States, and that "inclusion and productive dialogue will better promote" its formulation and encourage development.

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Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Edited by Chizu Nomiyama, Chris Reese, Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown

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