Early Christmas gift for Huawei as Microsoft granted Windows export license, Google still banned

Huawei has been granted another reprieve by the U.S. Department of Commerce which allowed Microsoft to continue to sell its operating system and other software to the Chinese company.

“On November 20, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted Microsoft’s request for a license to export mass-market software to Huawei,” the Redmond, Wash.-based company said in a statement. “We appreciate the Department’s action in response to our request.”

The Huawei Windows ban has prevented the company from introducing new models of PC and laptops, as it has continued to sell devices with the previously granted licences grandfathered in.

“This will be a major relief for Huawei after an arduous period with large technology players like Microsoft, Google and others restricted on the platform,” said Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

A large number of companies have applied to continue to do business with Huawei, but not all have been approved yet.

“We’ve had 290-something requests for specific licenses,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview with Fox Business Network on Tuesday. “We’ve now been starting to send out the 20-day intent-to-deny letters and some approvals.” Google has not confirmed approval yet.

The US Government has accused Huawei to be a security risk earlier this year, and their ability to continue using western operating systems such as Android and Windows has been under question since then. Others have questioned the real motivations for the move, suggesting it is part of the trade war between US and China.

The suspension of the Huawei Windows ban appears to suggest the later rather than the former, with US senators suggesting that Huawei should not be allowed to continue selling networking and computing infrastructure in the west anymore. The extension is Huawei’s second reprieve.

“Huawei to continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure and national security more broadly,” they said, saying more clarity around the approval process should be provided.

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