The U.S. Department of Commerce is reportedly close to signing off on a new rule that allows U.S. companies to work with China’s Huawei Technologies on setting standards for next generation 5G networks.
According to reuters, the new rule essentially allows U.S. companies to participate in standards bodies where Huawei is also a member.
The rule is only expected to address Huawei, the people familiar with the matter said, not other listed entities like Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision.
The Commerce Department placed Huawei on its “entity list” last May, restricting sales of U.S. goods and technology to the company. However, the measure had a negative impact to U.S. tech companies too, which could not participate in organizations that establish industry standards, if Huawei was also on the table.
Within a year, Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, seems to have gained a strong voice in standards setting meetings, where protocols and technical specifications are developed, as U.S. engineers sat back in silence and essentially lost their seats on the table.
Telecommunications firms vie to have their patented technology considered essential to the standard, which can boost a company’s bottom line by billions of dollars.
The Department of Commerce declined to comment. Huawei also declined to comment.