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CEO DATELINE – Tech group lifts ban on Chinese company Huawei

June 3, 2019
By Walt Williams

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IEEE has lifted a temporary ban on employees of the Chinese company Huawei Technologies and its affiliates from publishing in the group’s journals or participating in peer reviews.

IEEE imposed the ban not long after President Donald Trump signed an executive order May 15 banning U.S. companies from using information and communications technology from anyone deemed a national security threat, according to an analysis of the order by the news site Vox. The order was largely directed at Huawei, which has been long suspected of using its technology to spy for the Chinese government. http://bit.ly/2Xm8FPK

IEEE instituted the ban until it received further guidance from the U.S. Department of Commerce about the new restrictions, the group said in a statement. Based on that new information, “employees of Huawei and its affiliates may participate as peer reviewers and editors in our publication process.”

“Our initial, more restrictive approach was motivated solely by our desire to protect our volunteers and our members from legal risk,” IEEE said. “With the clarification received, this risk has been addressed.”

IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers on legal business documents) says it is the “world’s largest technical professional organization” with more than 422,000 members.  

Other associations have reportedly debated their relationships with Huawei, although some of those news reports may have been based on bad information. For example, several industry news outlets reported that the SD Association removed the company from its membership, but the California-based group issued a May 31 statement saying a technical glitch accidentally deleted Huawei from its membership list. However, the association did suspend Huawei’s access to members-only information to comply with the new U.S. government rule.

The Wi-Fi Alliance said it had temporarily restricted Huawei’s participation in association event as a result of the executive order. A Huawei executive currently is a member of the Rural Wireless Association’s board of directors, but the group has not issued any statements the new government restrictions.

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