Huawei just caught a break: The US government has temporarily loosened restrictions so that Huawei can help its existing customers

Huawei smartphones are seen displayed inside a shopping mall in Shanghai, China May 16, 2019.  REUTERS/Aly SongHuawei smartphones are seen displayed inside a shopping mall in ShanghaiReuters

  • Huawei has had its restrictions around conducting business in the US scaled back.
  • Last week, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to an "entity list" that blacklisted the company from buying parts from US businesses without government approval.
  • The restrictions on Huawei have been reduced so the Chinese company is able to work with its existing cell phone customers in the US.
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The US Commerce Department on Monday created a temporary general license restoring Huawei's ability to maintain existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets.

The license, which was posted for public inspection, scales back the restrictions imposed by the US government last week on Huawei's buying US goods in order to help existing customers. The temporary license lasts until August 19.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Huawei, the Chinese tech giant accused of spying that the US just banned from doing business in America

Last week, the US Commerce Department added Huawei, a massive Chinese tech company, to an "entity list" that essentially blacklisted the company from buying parts from US businesses without first getting US government approval.

Reuters reported Sunday that Google suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software, and technical services except those publicly available via open-source licensing, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google representative said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters.

Read more: Huawei has been blacklisted by the US government. Here's what happened to the last Chinese tech company that got the 'death penalty.'

Potential beneficiaries of the temporary license could include internet access and mobile phone service providers in thinly populated places such as Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in recent years.

However, the "temporary general license" will allow Huawei to provide software updates and maintain existing cell networks for those in the US who use Huawei smartphones.

Although Huawei is the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, its devices are hard to come by in the US because the company hasn't been able to find a US carrier willing to partner with it.

Since the blacklist went into place, major US tech companies and suppliers have reportedly cut off critical software and parts to Huawei "until further notice."

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