Huawei Phones Could Regain Google Apps with Special Exemption

260 requests have been made by companies looking to trade with the smartphone giant.
Chris Young

Things are going pretty well for Huawei despite the U.S. trade ban, and now, thanks to a series of upcoming special exemptions from the U.S. government, they could get even better.

The exemptions, which are expected to be announced "very shortly," could allow for Google applications to be used on Huawei smartphones once again. 


Google integration could be back

As many as 260 requests have been filed in order to request a special license to trade with the huge Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg in an interview.

While Ross also said these would arrive "very shortly," he did warn that the U.S. government is not guaranteed to allow all of them. Quite a few are likely to be granted, though, he says.

One of the requests is believed to be from Google. If granted, this would be great news for Huawei, as it would be able to enable Google Play apps and services on its smartphones once again.

An ongoing trade spat

The current Huawei issue goes back to August of last year when Donald Trump signed the National Defence Authorization Act, barring U.S. firms from trading with the company due to national security concerns.

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The problems are also connected to an ongoing trade war between the Trump administration and China.

To help U.S. companies, the Trump administration has said it will allow exemptions to a select group of companies, allowing them to trade with Huawei once again. None has yet been granted.

Some companies, such as ARM Holdings, are using loopholes to get around the ban. They declare that the technology used in their designs and IP originates in the U.K., not the U.S. 

As many point out, though the exemptions could be great news for Huawei and several U.S. companies, they are in a precarious solution. And, it greatly depends on the United States' relations with China. They are likely to be easily revoked if things suddenly go sour.

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