Microsoft Wants To End Huawei Ban Saying It’s ‘Not A Threat To The United States’

Brad Smith at a Microsoft conference
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Microsoft president, Brad Smith, has requested an end to the ban on American companies supplying Chinese tech giant Huawei with its latest products, BBC News reported today. Huawei found itself blacklisted by the Trump administration in May this year when it was discovered that the founder was a former People’s Liberation Army technologist. Ren Zhengfei had close ties to the Chinese government and was previously accused of violating international economic sanction and the theft of intellectual property.

However Smith feels that U.S. security would not be undermined by allowing Huawei products to use its operating system Microsoft Windows or all-but ubiquitous Microsoft Office applications. Smith elaborated in an interview with the BBC.

“It would be a mistake at the same time to try to draw some new digital iron curtain down the Pacific Ocean – I think that would hold back the United States, would hold back the democracies of the world,” Smith said.

“We’re one of a number of companies that has applied with the US Commerce department so that we can continue to provide our software operating system to Huawei for devices like laptops. There may be some issues that require some approaches around 5G but one should ask whether that is the right approach for all of the equipment.”

Wilbur Ross — the U.S. Commerce Secretary — has stated that licences would be issued from his department exempting such companies that could sell technology to Huawei without U.S. national security being compromised. In spite of some 100 requests being made thus far, it seems the Department of Commerce is yet to issue any such licences.

A Huawei electronics store.
  Sean Gallup / Getty Images
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In the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of Huawei’s website, it states that the U.S. government’s claims of the Chinese manufacturer posing a national security risk have not been backed up by evidence and that it has a “spotless” cyber security track record. Responses to cyber security bans and restrictions from a number of countries including Australia, Poland and Canada can also be found in the FAQ.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Huawei had been removed from international cyber security group The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams.

In spite of Trump’s crackdown, The Inquisitr reported earlier this year that the company claims to have enjoyed a 23 percent increase in sales amidst significant income drops from rival Chinese manufacturers Oppo and Xiaomi, and even a decline in sales posted by Apple for the region of China.