Back in May 2019, the United States blacklisted Huawei after calling it a security threat. Further saying that the Chinese government could tap into Huawei telecom network gears installed abroad to spy on the West or disrupt infrastructure. Now according to the latest news, Microsoft Corp. confirms to Reuters that it has granted a license to export software with China’s Huawei Company.
On November 20, the U.S Department of Commerce granted Microsoft’s request for a license to export mass-market software to Huawei. A Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement,
“We appreciate the department’s action in response to our request.”
Huawei is one of the biggest makers of smartphones and computer-network equipment in the world. The U.S Department of Commerce started granting some suppliers’ applications to sell components to Huawei. Thus, expanding the company’s supplier base and providing long-awaited clarity to the industry that once sold it billions of dollars’ worth of goods.
On Wednesday 20th November, a U.S official said that it had received about 300 license requests. Out of 300, about half of them were processed. Roughly, half of those-or one-quarter of the total- had been approved. Rests of the license requests were denied. Out of these, a license for Huawei software was then approved too.
Possible Consequences of Microsoft Software for Huawei
Till now, Microsoft did not mention any specific software as part of this license, such as Windows or Office. But the wording of the decision suggests that the company has gained a general license to export consumer software to Huawei rather than a license for specific software.
This move should be a very positive turn for Huawei’s PC aspirations. As the Huawei Matebook computers were hit by the U.S ban & to cancel at least one laptop launch. All this happened due to the U.S ban on Huawei.
However, it is still likely that Microsoft is at least able to sell Windows licenses to Huawei once again. This would in turn help with Huawei’s server solutions and its Windows-powered laptops. Microsoft is part of a number of U.S companies that are starting to get licenses to supply software to Huawei again. As a result, this decision turns out to be highly beneficial to the Huawei Company due to the above reasons. And, it is possible that we will get to see more Windows-powered Huawei laptops in the future.
Another piece of Huawei Matebook puzzle that was also affected by the Huawei’s ban is Intel. Chip designer Intel confirms that it applied for a license earlier this year. The license was to sell ‘general purpose’ chips to Huawei. This means to sell the processors fitting into Huawei’s laptops. There’s no confirmation that U.S Commerce Department accepted Intel’s license request till now.
What software or goods Microsoft will sell to Huawei is still unknown. This announcement is yet to come.