It seems that US President Donald Trump is using a carrot and stick policy with China in the ongoing trade war between the two countries. Chinese smartphone company Huawei has been at the centre of the trade issue between the two countries.
According to US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the trade negotiations are now heading towards a solution and Huawei may see some relief soon. Ross has told Bloomberg that US companies may receive exceptions to work with Huawei.
The administration has received 260 requests, out of which one is reported to be Google. If the exception is granted, Huawei may be able to ship its phone with Android onboard, at least for a short period, for which the request is granted.
This may be a thaw between the two countries as US been repeatedly been accused of being a threat to US' national security. Huawei has been accused of loading spyware on its phones and its 5G infrastructure.
In fact, many countries have followed suit and are relying on Ericsson and Nokia rather than Huawei for upgrading to 5G.
Ross is optimistic that the US and China may be able to agree on the "Phase One" of the trade deal. The pressure may have been created by the number of requests that the US Department of Commerce has received for working with Huawei – indicating an adverse effect of the blacklist on these countries.
However, Ross has stated that the sensitivity of the country's national security will be paramount in approving licenses. Huawei offers its telecom tech at very low rates and other companies in the area have failed to match up with this pricing. When companies source from other telecom equipment and device makers, this makes their cost of doing business high.
Some companies such as ARM have also created a workaround by using patents registered in other countries for their processor designs and thereby avoiding sanctions.
Both Ross and Trump can't be trusted to sign a trade deal anytime soon since they have a history of backtracking from what they promise.
Huawei's fate will continue to hang in balance as the two global giants hash it out.