Huawei calls on US to lift export restrictions

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Huawei still prefers Google's Android mobile operating system (OS) for its smartphones over its own self-developed Hongmeng OS, according to company chairman Liang Hua, following an announcement on Tuesday that the USA government would significantly narrow the scope of its ban on the Chinese telecom giant.

"We operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than 3 billion people worldwide, and we are working to provide more coverage and easier connectivity to bridge the global digital divide", Liang said.

Now Huawei is likely to regain access to Android after the Trump administration said on Tuesday that it would issue licenses for American companies that want to do business with Huawei "where there is no threat to national security".

Liang continued to say that although the situation was less volatile than previous months, and that a supposed relaxation of the restriction would be welcome, he still believed Huawei should not be on the United States government's so-called Entity List at all.

Despite the US export restrictions, Huawei revenue grew in the first half of this year, Liang said.

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Trump's export curbs are a blow to US suppliers of chips and other technology for which Huawei is one of the biggest buyers.

Easing restrictions on Huawei sales isn't enough, Liang Hua said.

Huawei looks to launch its own smartphone operating system as early as this fall to replace Android OS, which Google may be barred from supporting under the US restrictions. "Of course, if America doesn't let us use it, then might we in the future develop our own Hongmeng as our cellphone operating system?" Huawei announced plans in January for a next-generation smartphone based on its own chips.

The Department of Commerce will "issue licenses where there is no threat to USA national security", though Huawei will continue to face export controls, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday in Washington.

"Our companies should not be at a disadvantage to others that are already selling to Huawei", he said.

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