August 19th marks the end of the temporary reprieve the US government gave Huawei after banning its access to American products, including hardware components as well as software licenses it needs to manufacture and sell all sorts of devices.
But that doesn’t mean Huawei will no longer be able to conduct business with US-based partners, as the Commerce Department was expected on Monday to extend the reprieve by several months. The extension was just announced, which means Huawei has ample time to launch two of its most important products of the year, including the Mate 30 Pro and Mate X foldable.
The Mate X was recently delayed to November, while the Mate 30 Pro is rumored to be unveiled on September 19th, one day ahead of Apple’s iPhone 11 release. In both cases, we’re looking at dates beyond the initial August 19th deadline.
When the ban was first announced, several US companies cut ties with Huawei, at least temporarily. It soon became clear that Huawei might not be able to manufacture and sell Android handsets under the ban, but the Chinese conglomerate made it clear that any phones launched with Google’s Android would continue to receive software updates.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters a few days ago that the “temporary general license” would be extended for 80 days.
The same sources said the situation remains fluid and might change ahead of the deadline on Monday. US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to discuss the matter during a call over the weekend.
While the ban on Huawei may be founded, there’s reason to believe the company is being used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade war. More