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Commerce Dept. grants Huawei a 90-day license to help existing users

The company is still banned from buying US equipment.

Last week the US Commerce Department added Huawei and 68 subsidiaries to its "Entity List" that bans it from doing business with US companies without a special license. Today, as anticipated, the Commerce Department loosened that restriction a bit with a temporary 90-day license. According to Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, it "will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks."

Because many operators, or owners of various handsets might not have any other way to get software updates or look into backups for necessary equipment, Huawei can continue to service those existing customers -- for now at least. For the long term, however, it's still looking at the loss of access to technology like Google's Android OS, not to mention any business deals in the US.

Update: Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei made a rare public statement, telling media in China that his company had already made preparations for a ban, and said that its 5G would not be affected by the restrictions. He also said the temporary license "bears little meaning."