U.S. officials can’t decide on if Honor should be blacklisted like Huawei
Honor is at the risk of meeting the same fate as its former parent company, Huawei, as U.S. security agencies debate whether they should put the Chinese smartphone maker on an export blacklist.
According to a report from The Wahington Post, officials at four U.S. federal agencies are unable to come to an agreement on whether they should place Honor on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List. The List bars the export of U.S. technology without a license, so if Honor were to be placed on it, companies like Google, Qualcomm, Intel, and Microsoft would be prohibited from doing business with them.
WaPo says that Pentagon and Energy Department officials favored blacklisting Honor, while their counterparts at the Commerce Department and State Department opposed the idea. If no consensus is reached between the agencies, the issue could escalate to the Cabinet level. In the event of a deadlock there, the decision will then fall to President Biden.
Some experts believe it would be difficult to make the same national security argument that put Huawei on the blacklist. For one, Honor doesn’t manufacture or sell any telecommunications equipment. Further, the company doesn’t sell any of its products in the United States.
Huawei sold Honor to a consortium of over 30 agents and dealers in November last year. The buyers then set up a new company called Shenzen Zhixin New Information Technology, which wholly owns Honor. At the time of the sale, Huawei said that it would “not hold any shares or be involved in any business management or decision-making activities in the new Honor company.” Following the sale, Honor said it would no longer be affected by the U.S. export restrictions placed on Huawei.
We have been closely following Honor’s journey as an independent brand over the past months. In January, Honor unveiled its first smartphone after it was sold by Huawei. In the following months, the company restored strategic partnerships with chipmakers like Qualcomm, Intel, MediaTek, etc., and even regained the Android license that it had lost under Huawei.
It remains to be seen how this whole situation pans out. We’ll keep a close eye on further developments and let you know if any new details emerge.
Featured image: the Honor Magic3 Pro+ 5G