domingo, 30 de junio de 2019

Adding confusion to Huawei´s affair

After the meeting between Xi Ping and Trump there's a feeling of relief in the tech sector. The general conclusion after the press conference given by the US President is that the tech war against Huawei has finished. I really don´t know if there are reasons to be so optimistic. My impression is that everybody was so eager of listening good news that they think they have listened good news without further analysis. Perhaps it would be good to analyse what we know so far of the supposed end of the Huawei affair.

To begin with, Trump´s declarations are contradictory up to some point. On one hand, he announced that "we´re allowing them (American companies) to sell (to Huawei)", but he refused to confirm that the Chinese tech company would be dropped from the entity list. Therefore, the meaning of this "allowance to sell" is not clear. It may mean a new postponment of the effective entrance of Huawei in the entity list beyond the already given extension of 90 days or it may means that the bunch of tech companies that have been lobbying against the ban are going to receive a partial license for selling chips to Huawei. The answer will be published (or not) by the US Commerce Department in the following days.

It's also interesting to appreciate that no mention has been made by Trump to the Executive Order on the tech supply chain published at the same time that Huawei was introduced in the entity list. It is relevant to highlight that there are signs that the order implementation has its own problems (e,g, The initial assessment of threats of the US Director of National Intelligence was not published this week as was foreseen in the order), but Trump has not give any sign that the implementation of the order was going to be stopped or paralized. This absence may mean that the crusade against the deployment of telco networks based on Huawei equipment on US soil will continue. And therefore, the pressure on US allies to ban Huawei equipment may not be relaxed.

The answer to the above doubts and many others will be given in the following days (or not), but there´s a serious chance that we may have attended only to the first scene of a new episode of confusion of the Huawei´s affair instead to its final act.





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