US telcos tossed yet another extension to keep going with Huawei kit despite America's 'security threat' concerns

It's clearly not a pressing issue – this is the fourth time now

The United States Department of Commerce has granted yet another extension – the fourth – to telcos using Huawei kit to run their networks.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is also asking for public comments on whether there should be more extensions in the future. Companies have until 25 March to get their comments in. The previous extension was due to end 1 April 2020.

BIS blamed continued telco reliance on Huawei kit for their rural networks for the 45-day extension.

While claiming the Chinese firm represents an existential threat to US security, Huawei still seems to be part of ongoing US-China trade talks. President Trump said last month that he wanted US chipmakers to be able to continue to trade with Chinese firms and previously said that Huawei's status could be negotiated.

Huawei remains on the Entity List, BIS said, because it "poses a significant risk of involvement in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."

US firms can carry on buying Huawei equipment and selling components and software to the company until 15 May.

This follows 90-day extensions granted in May, August and November of last year.

The department is separately considering applications from over 300 individual companies that wish to continue to do business with the Chinese giant.

The US government has also ramped up racketeering charges against the firm in court in New York.

Across the pond, the UK government survived a backbench rebellion yesterday by Tory MPs seeking an all-out ban on Huawei kit in the country's 5G networks. ®

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