New U.S. Huawei rule targets standards, security concerns remain: Ross

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new U.S. rule regarding China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is a needed “clarification” to help develop standards, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday, adding that security concerns remain over the telecoms equipment maker.

Ross, in an interview on Fox Business Network, said the rule released by the department on Tuesday would help create uniformity, but that the United States was still concerned about the potential for spying and opposed the use of Huawei technology in 5G networks.

“The change is really simply a clarification. It isn’t that we’re doing something to help Huawei. What we’re doing is something to make it easier for global standards to be symmetrical,” he said.

“This is to help make sure we have ubiquity in 5G,” Ross added.

The rule, scheduled to be formally published on Thursday, amends the Huawei “entity listing” that restricts sales of U.S. goods and technology to the company to allow the release of certain technology to Huawei and its affiliates if it contributes “to the revision or development of a ‘standard’ in a ‘standards organization.’”

The United States had placed Huawei on the entity list in May 2019, citing national security concerns, and Ross on Wednesday said those concerns remain especially over 5G.

“The spying is very real issue,” Ross told the television network.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama