China is “gratified” to see that firms in the United States do not fully agree with Washington’s decision to ban sales to Huawei, a government spokesman said on Tuesday, hours after US president Donald Trump met with American technology firms to discuss an easing of the restrictions on the blacklisted Chinese telecommunications equipment maker.
Huawei was placed on the trade blacklist in May due to national security concerns, although Trump said last month after his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan that US companies would be allowed to sell products without such implications, although the details remain unclear.
“We hope the matter could be properly resolved as soon as possible, and also hope the relevant government can correct the mistake quickly,” said Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesman Wen Ku, who is also the chief of the telecommunications department.
“China does not want to see the situation of (sales to Huawei) being suppressed, many American companies do not want to see that neither.”
Wen did not specifically mention Trump’s meeting with the CEOs from Cisco, Intel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Micron Technology, Western Digital, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, on Monday.
The executives demanded prompt licensing decisions on sales to Huawei, but a White House statement on Monday said that they also expressed “strong support” for national security restrictions on US telecommunications equipment purchases and sales to Huawei.
Many American companies, including Intel and Qualcomm, have played an active role in China’s 5G wireless technology development, Wen added.
After China issued 5G licences earlier last month, foreign industry leaders such as Intel, Qualcomm and Ericsson praised the move as a boost to the continued development of China’s 5G market, and said they had prepared to fully support the commercial deployment.
“China has always adhered to the concepts of openness and joint development, and practised these ideals during the process of 5G development,” Wen said.
Wen suggested that the issuance of 5G licenses had little to do with the trade war, but rather was based on the maturation of equipment development.
“That is just like giving birth to a baby, it might come earlier than the expected due date, but it also might be later,” he said.
Wen added that it was the right time for China to issue the licences, not only because 20 handsets were ready for sale, but also because 5G is a “very important infrastructure” that will support the country’s future development.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, meanwhile, said that the growth rate of China’s industrial economy had reached the upper end of the government’s target range in the first half of the year.
Industrial production grew 6% in the first half of 2019, according to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.
“The impact (of the trade war) is still under control,” said spokesman Huang Libin.
In an attempt to cushion the negative effects from the trade tensions, the government cut the corporate income tax rates for integrated circuit designers and software developers who have suffered significantly from US tariffs, according to Huang.
The government also plans to offer targeted help to companies in industrial supply chains that are facing the greatest pressure and are considering moving out of China, Huang added.
China will make greater efforts to make breakthroughs in key core technologies to strengthen the ability of its industrial system to deal with economic shocks, while also accelerating the upgrading of its industrial supply chains via fiscal and monetary support, said Huang.
In addition, China will implement further tax and government fee cuts to help optimise the industrial structure. – South China Morning Post