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US to relax Huawei ban, announces White House

The White House has announced it will relax sanctions on Huawei which prevented American firms from providing technologies to the company.

It follows a G20 summit directive from President Trump to ease pressure on the firm following positive trade deal talks with China.

Huawei had been added to a US commercial blacklist in May which required US firms to get a licence in order to sell products to the company.

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Signalling progress in trade negotiations between China and America, a Trump administration official confirmed that licences would be issued to US firms.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed to an export controls conference that licences would be issued as long as "there is no threat to US national security".

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When Huawei was first added to the blacklist, businesses from Google to Intel were forced to rapidly pause their commercial relationships with Huawei.

The move left users of Huawei smartphones and tablets in a difficult position as they were based on software developed by Google and Microsoft.

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Although they couldn't have this software stripped away from them, the devices potentially would have been prohibited from receiving security updates – leaving their users exposed to cyber attacks.

Speaking at a CNBC event, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the US had "opened the door, relaxed a bit" on the requirements for issuing licences to sell to Huawei.

"We are opening that up for a limited time period," said Mr Kudlow, who did not say how limited this time period would be.

He added that the trade talks with China are set to resume again: "The most important thing, the headline, is that talks and negotiations will resume, after a couple months of hiatus."

The Trump administration's sanctions against Huawei have been justified in terms of the national security threat which it alleges Huawei's telecommunications equipment – and ties to Beijing – pose to the country.

However, Huawei itself and the Chinese government dispute these claims, accusing Washington of abusing national security "as a tool for trade protectionism".

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