A top US government official has reportedly told staff in the commerce department that Huawei should still be treated as blacklisted, despite an apparent easing in tensions.
In a surprise move, US President Donald Trump last week rowed back on previous measures by saying US companies would be allowed to trade with the embattled Chinese tech firm.
The concession, made following trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, has been welcomed by companies in Huawei’s supply chain.
Chipmakers in the US and the UK had warned that Trump’s crackdown on Huawei would have a knock-on impact on their business.
But the move has also sparked confusion as government officials seek to clarify the exact nature of the policy change.
In an email to employees, seen by Reuters, deputy director of the Office for Expert Enforcement John Sonderman said Huawei remained on a US trade blacklist.
Sonderman added that any further guidance from the commerce department’s Bureau of Industry and Security should also be taken into account when evaluating licence requests from firms looking to sell to Huawei.
It is unclear when the commerce department will provide additional guidance and how this might impact US companies.
Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said the lift on the ban will only apply to products widely available around the world.
The most sensitive equipment will still be subject to a ban, he said, adding that the move was not a “general amnesty”.
Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei has welcomed the change in policy, saying it was “good for American companies”, according to Reuters.
The US has spearheaded a campaign to ban Huawei from 5G networks amid fears its equipment could be used for spying by Chinese authorities.