New Huawei Restrictions Turn Up the Heat on the U.S-China Tech Cold War

May 17, 2019 | 09:30 GMT

The Huawei logo is displayed at the annual VivaTech conference in Paris on May 16, 2019.

Huawei Technologies has come to symbolize China's tech rise. While the United States and China may eventually come to an agreement on their trade war, their tech war will endure far beyond the Trump administration.



  • U.S. President Donald Trump's recent executive order prevents U.S. 5G infrastructure from using Huawei equipment and also may be applied to many other types of tech equipment, given its expansive language.
  • Though it is receiving less press coverage than the executive order, the U.S. Commerce Department's move to add Huawei to its Entity List, which requires U.S. exporters to obtain approval before selling to companies on it, is actually the largest salvo yet against China's tech sector.
  • The Commerce Department's designation targets suppliers and could fragment important tech supply chains.
  • Taken together, the two U.S. decisions serve as a reminder that the U.S.-China tech war will endure far beyond the trade war and the Trump administration.

In its tech war with China, the United States has launched two major attacks aimed at China and its most globally competitive tech company, Huawei Technologies. First, on May 15 U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving the U.S. Commerce Department the authority to block certain transactions involving information and communications technologies developed, designed or manufactured by companies subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary. While the order did not explicitly mention China and Huawei, its intention is clear: to pave the way for the United States to block Huawei from its 5G networks and other critical infrastructure. One the same day, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it was adding Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to its Entity List, meaning any U.S. company that wants to export technology, services or products to Huawei will need a special license from the Commerce Department to do so....

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