Washington: Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies on Monday criticized the sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump administration as being “politically motivated” and “unjust.”
“It’s clear that this decision, made at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security. These actions violate the basic principles of free market competition,” the firm said in a statement.
In May, Trump ordered the Commerce Department to place Huawei on a list – known as the “Entity List” – of foreign companies whose activities are restricted in the US, the Efe news reported.
A few days later, the department said the sanctions on the sanctions on the Chinese telecom equipment maker would be delayed for 90 days effective May 20, although on Monday US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that Washington would give Huawei another 90-day reprieve on the imposition of sanctions.
“It is another 90 days for the US telecom companies,” Ross told the Fox Business Network. “Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei. So we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off.”
The decision was announced a day after Trump described Huawei as a threat to US national security and in the past the administration has accused the firm of being able to use its telecommunications devices on US soil for spying.
But Huawei said of the sanctions, regardless of the postponement of their implementation: “They are in no one’s interests, including US companies. Attempts to suppress Huawei’s business won’t help the US achieve technological leadership. We call on the US government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List.”
The firm added: “Today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way. We will continue to focus on developing the best possible products and providing the best possible services to our customers around the world.”
The sanctions against Huawei will now be postponed until November 19, with the move following Trump’s decision to delay imposing new tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese imports until December.
For now, Huawei and its subsidiaries will be able to continue working with US microprocessor manufacturers and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, whose Google Play service and a variety of apps are used on the Chinese company’s phones.
Trump said Sunday that his administration “does not want to do business at all” with Huawei for national security reasons.
“At this moment it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” Trump said. “I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat and I really believe that the media has covered it a little bit differently than that.”
The sanctions will affect the launch of the new Huawei Mate 30 cellphone with Google’s Android operating system, and the Chinese company has indicated that it could still release the product with its own Harmony OS operating system.
The sanctions would prevent Alphabet from licensing technology to Huawei and would force US manufacturers of electronic components to cut ties with the Chinese firm.
On July 22, executives from seven tech firms – Google, Intel, Cisco, Qualcomm, Micron, Broadcom and Western Digital – met with Trump and urged him to make a “timely” decision on Huawei’s operations in the US.
Trump met with the executives at the White House, where they discussed issues related to Huawei’s ban.
Tech companies have been pressuring the administration to stick to the promise made by Trump at the G20 Summit to allow Huawei to sell chips and other components to American businesses.
The status of Huawei, the world’s largest provider of 5G wireless gear, has become another sticking point in the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.