US SECURITY chiefs are weighing up whether to blacklist a Chinese smartphone-maker formerly owned by Huawei.
The list bars exports of US technology to sanctioned companies without a department license.
According to the Washington Post, personnel at four agencies met last week to discuss putting Honor on the Commerce Department’s entity list.
Huawei, which builds smartphones and mobile network equipment, was placed on the list in 2019 over its ties to the Chinese government.
The company is thought to have rushed the sale through in order to steer Honor away from sanctions that would have tanked sales outside of China.
According to the Post, the unnamed officials were split on whether to also apply restrictions to Honor, which Huawei sold last year.
The agency personnel reportedly could not agree on whether Honor posed a significant threat to US national security.
Sources told the Post that staff members at the Pentagon and Energy Department supported placing the company on the blacklist.
Their counterparts at the Commerce Department and State Department, however, opposed it. If Honor were to be added to the blacklist, US users of the company’s phones would likely lose access to Google services, such as Google Maps.
It could also lead to a ban from US allies such as Australia and the UK. Last month, Honor released its first post-Huawei smartphone in the form of the China-only Honor View 40.
It has access to Google’s Android operating system and Google’s suite of popular apps. Huawei sold off its Honor sub-brand for $15billion to avoid sweeping restrictions brought in by then-President Donald Trump.
Trump said that Huawei, one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers, posed a threat to national security due to its ties to the Chinese government. Security chiefs warned that the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks could provide Beijing with a back door to spy on US citizens and companies.
American firms were barred from buying technology from Huawei and its phones lost access to Google’s Android operating system. In July 2020, the UK also introduced a series of measures to remove Huawei from its 5G mobile networks.
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