China General Nuclear Power Group added to BIS entity list.

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This past Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce added China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) to the BIS entity list. As a result, American companies are now prevented from selling any products to China’s largest state-owned nuclear company. If any American company or person does business with CGN (or any other listed entity), they would be violating the law and subject to persecution.

The U.S. Department of Commerce claims CGN its subsidiaries engaged in activity to acquire advanced U.S. nuclear technology and material for use in the Chinese military.

China claims the real goal of placing CGN on the entity list is to limit China’s growth under China’s “Made in China 2025” initiative. Made in China 2025 is an effort by the Chinese government to increase the high tech capability and manufacturing of China. If successful, the “Made in China 2025” efforts will make China the a superpower in high technology in Asia.

If you have any questions about your company’s operations and want to ensure compliance with the new entity list addition, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US Companies can no longer do business with Huawei on August 19th.

In May, the Trump administration placed Huawei on the BIS entity list – a list of foreign organizations with whom U.S. companies are restricted from doing business with due to national security concerns. The Trump administration believes the Chinese government has influence over Huawei and that certain Huawei equipment and technology may allow the Chinese government to spy using the Huawei equipment – especially the planned 5G equipment Huawei has developed.

Even though Huawei is on the BIS entity list, the Trump administration issued a 90-day exemption to the ban, allowing U.S. companies to sell certain products and services to Huawei. However, this 90-day exemption will end on Monday, August 19th.

It is unknown whether the U.S. government will issued another extension. Given the current situation in Hong Kong and the lack of progress on US/China trade talks, the Trump administration will likely not grant another extension.

Will post any additional Huawei news as it becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns about whether your business can continue business with Huawei, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Intel has begun selling to Huawei as US loosens restrictions.

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Since the US eased restrictions on supplying components to Huawei, the largest US chimpaker, Intel, said they have begun selling products to Huawei “within the rules of the law”. Additionally, Intel says they are also requesting an export license to sell “general purpose computing” chips to Huawei that do not pose a national security risk.

As you are aware, the Trump administration raised concerns regarding the use of Huawei technology may contain backdoors that would allow the Chinese government to spy on users, posing a national security risk. As a result, the US Department of Commerce added Huawei to their entity list this past May. Inclusion on the entity list precluded Huawei from buying parts and components from American companies without US government approval (an export license).

However, after the Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit last month, President Trump said that US firms can resume selling equipment to Huawei.

Additionally, earlier in July, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced an easing of restrictions against the Chinese company in line with Trump’s statements after the G20 summit, stating that the US would issue licenses to US companies looking to sell to Huawei as long as the sales do not pose a threat to national security. An export license would still be required as Huawei has not been removed from the entity list.

If you have any questions whether your company can continue to do business with Huawei, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

GitHub blocks developers in countries facing US trade sanctions.

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GitHub (owned by Microsoft) is the world’s largest software development platform that provides hosting for software development version control using Git. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 for $7.5 billion and has recently started blocking developers in countries facing US trade sanctions.

For example, last week Github restricted the account of Anatoliy Kashkin, a 21-year-old Russian citizen who lives in Crimea. He was told his GitHub account had been restricted “due to US trade controls”.

The correspondence from GitHub advised Kashkin of GitHub’s US trade control policy – listing Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as countries facing US sanctions. In addition to his website now showing a 404 error, Kashkin also can’t access his previous work.

GitHub’s website does advise that “Users are responsible for ensuring that the content they develop and share on GitHub.com complies with the U.S. export control laws, including the EAR (Export Administration Regulations) and the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)” and that “The cloud-hosted service offering available at Github.com has not been designed to host data subject to the ITAR and does not currently offer the ability to restrict repository access by country. If you are looking to collaborate on ITAR- or other export-controlled data, we recommend you consider GitHub Enterprise Server, GitHub’s on-premises offering.”

Besides banning accounts for individuals in Crimea, GitHub has also restricted developers in Iran.

If you want to ensure your company is in compliance with the Export Administration Regulations and the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Intel CEO talks about Huawei ban.

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In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Intel CEO Bob Swan said Huawei was an “important customer” while stressing Intel must abide by the “rules of the road” – the export restrictions in place after Huawei’s inclusion on the BIS entity list.

Intel’s CEO was one of six other tech CEO’s who met with President Trump this past Monday to discuss security issues around the use of Huawei equipment. While most people relate Huawei to their smartphones, Huawei also makes the infrastructure for the internet. Huawei is currently working on 5G equipment which US officials suspect will contain back doors or other  means for Chinese espionage.

In related news – Intel reported second-quarter earnings and beating expectations and Intel will sell most of its smartphone modem business to Apple for $1 billion.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin urges US suppliers to seek export licenses if they want to resume sales to Huawei.

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As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked U.S. suppliers of Huawei to apply for export licenses in order to resume sales to the Huawei. The export licenses are required as Huawei is listed on the BIS entity list.

At last month’s G20 meeting, Trump announced the ability for US companies to sell to Huawei if there was no threat to “U.S. national security”.

I just checked the BIS website and there are no published guidelines regarding products that would be eligible for a license and what components may be a threat to national security.

While both the US and China agreed to new meetings, there have also been no set dates for new face-to-face meetings.

If you need assistance applying for an export license to sell to Huawei or any other entity on the BIS list, or have questions how the Huawei ban will impact your business, contact experienced export attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US announces clarification of Huawei ban.

Wilbur_Ross_Official_Portrait

Wilbur Ross, Official Portrait

At the G-20 summit, President Trump announced that US companies could sell to Huawei. Today, the Trump administration filled in the rest of the details by announcing a relaxation of the restrictions against selling to Huawei – limited the ban only to products that are related to national security.

Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that that licenses would be issued to companies to sell their products to Huawei under certain conditions.

On Tuesday Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, said that Washington would issue licences to companies to sell their products to the Chinese telecoms equipment maker under certain conditions. The main condition being “no threat to US national security”. As Huawei is still on the BIS entity list, companies that sell products not harmful to US national security will still need to apply for a license.

If you have questions about the Huawei ban or would like to apply for an export license, contact export compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Huawei’s OS is 60% faster than Android.

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Despite a recent reprieve prohibiting doing business with Huawei, Huawei is still going forward with their Hong Meng OS, an alternative to Android.

Based off testing on Chinese handset brands Oppo and Vivo, it is believed that Hong Meng OS is 60% faster than Android. In addition, Huawei is also preparing an app store alternative to Google’s Play and Apple’s App store.

In the same interview, Huawei’s CEO also countered speculation that Huawei handsets could be used for surveillance by talking up Huawei’s protection of user data, claiming it would never hand over data to the Chinese government because it would be too risky for its reputation internationally, stating:

“We will never do such a thing. If I had done it even once, the US would have evidence to spread around the world. Then the 170 countries and regions in which we currently operate would stop buying our products, and our company would collapse,” he told the Financial Times.

“After that, who would pay the debts we owe? Our employees are all very competent, so they would resign and start their own companies, leaving me alone to pay off our debts. I would rather die.”

If you have any questions how the Huawei ban may impact your business or want to be sure your export compliance program meets the ever-changing needs, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CNBC reports Huawei personnel links to China’s military intelligence.

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CNBC published an article online citing a study conducted by Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Fulbright University Vietnam, and London-based conservative think tank Henry Jackson Society. The study looked at resumes and curriculum vitae of Huawei employees and they report that “key mid-level technical personnel employed by Huawei have strong backgrounds in work closely associated with intelligence gathering and military activities.” The paper said that some employees had “to specific instances of hacking or industrial espionage conducted against Western firms”.

The resumes and personal information was leaked when a website and database run from a recruitment firm was compromised and published online.

In response, Huawei has claimed they are unable to verify the Huawei employee information and cannot confirm whether the “veracity of all of the information published online”. In response, Huawei also states that “Huawei maintains strict policies for hiring candidates with military or government backgrounds. During the hiring process, these candidates are required to provide documentation proving they have ended their relationships with the military or the government”.

A Huawei spokesperson also added: “We welcome professional and fact-based reporting on investigations into Huawei’s transparency. We hope that any further research papers will contain less conjecture when drawing their conclusions, and avoid so many speculative statements about what Professor Balding ‘believes,’ ‘infers,’ and ‘cannot rule out,’”.

If you have questions about how the Huawei inclusion on the BIS entity list means for your business, contact export license attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Breaking news – Trump allows US companies to sell to Huawei.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

In comments at the G20 Summit, Trump was quoted as saying:

“One of the things I will allow, however, is, a lot of people are surprised we send and we sell to Huawei a tremendous amount of product that goes into the various things that they make. And I said that that’s okay, that we will keep selling that product. These are American companies… that make product and that’s very complex, by the way, and highly scientific. And in some cases we’re the ones that do it, we’re the only ones that do it. What we’ve done in Silicon Valley is incredible, actually and nobody has been able to compete with it, and I’ve agreed and pretty easily, I’ve agreed to allow them to continue to sell that product. So American companies will continue and they were having a problem, the companies were not exactly happy that they couldn’t sell because they had nothing to do with whatever it was potentially happening with respect to Huawei, so I did do that.”

Based off Trump’s comments, hardware components from US companies such as Intel and Micron can continue to sell to Huawei.

Will post more official verification as soon as it becomes available.

If you have questions about the Huawei BIS entity ban, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.