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Aug 15, 2020
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About this Deal

When the U.S. added Huawei to an entity last in May 2019, prohibiting American companies from providing hardware and software to the company, there was no immediate impact on the Chinese tech giant’s existing smartphone users. The U.S. granted Huawei a Temporary General License (TGL), to enable existing hardware and software to receive maintenance and security updates, to provide some time for these users to “wean themselves off” Huawei and to select alternatives.

The TGL was primarily intended for America’s rural carriers who rely on Huawei network equipment. But it also meant its smartphone users would not lose the Google software and services they relied on to drive their existing devices. The TGL has been repeatedly extended since then, but the last time around the Commerce Department warned that it would not be extended again. And now the license has expired—as of August 13, with serious implications for those users.

The details are currently unclear—other than confirmations in a report in the Washington Post from the Commerce Department, that the TGL has expired, and from Google that the TGL was the basis of its continued support for devices that predated the blacklist. Huawei has always assured that its users will not be left high and dry by the U.S. blacklist. If their device shipped with Google’s apps, the company has said, then it will keep Google’s apps. Further, the Android OS on those devices will be secure and maintained—it will not be left exposed.

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