The U.S. Department of Commerce is close to signing off on a new rule that would allow U.S. companies to work with China’s Huawei Technologies on setting standards for next-generation 5G networks, people familiar with the matter said. Engineers in some U.S. technology companies stopped engaging with Huawei to develop standards after the Commerce Department blacklisted the company last year. The listing left companies uncertain about what technology and information their employees could share with Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.
That has put the United States at a disadvantage, said industry and government officials. In standards-setting meetings, where protocols and technical specifications are developed that allow equipment from different companies to function together smoothly, Huawei gained a stronger voice as U.S. engineers sat back in silence. The Commerce Department placed Huawei on its “entity list” last May, citing national security concerns. The listing restricted sales of U.S. goods and technology to the company and raised questions about how U.S. firms could participate in organizations that establish industry standards