Microsoft scores license to export software to Huawei

Microsoft has been granted a license to export software to Chinese tech giant Huawei, as reported earlier Thursday by Reuters. It follows the US Commerce Department extending a temporary license to allow American companies to do business with Huawei earlier this week for another 90 days.

"On November 20, the US Department of Commerce granted Microsoft's request for a license to export mass-market software to Huawei," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We appreciate the department's action in response to our request."

Huawei was blacklisted in May when it was added to the United States' "entity list" (PDF). In addition to adding Huawei to the list, US President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.

Two other reprieves were granted by the department to Huawei in May and August.

"The temporary general license extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday. "The department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security."

Huawei said the extension doesn't change the fact that it's being "treated unfairly" by the US.

"We have long held that the decision by the US Department of Commerce to add Huawei to the Entity List has caused more harm to the US than to Huawei," the Chinese company said in a press release.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published Nov. 21, 2:44 p.m. PT. Update, 3:05 p.m.: Adds confirmation from Microsoft.