Licenses allowing US companies to sell equipment to Huawei "will be forthcoming very shortly," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg. A deal regarding the is apparently on track to be signed this month, as part of a wider US-China trade agreement.
The government has received 260, Ross told the business outlet on Sunday, a considerable jump on the it had reportedly received in August.
"That's a lot of applications -- it's frankly more than we would've thought," he said in the interview, noting that most will likely be approved.
The departmentin May, following an executive order from President Donald Trump that Huawei from US communications networks. It required US companies to get a license to do business with the Chinese telecom, which has long been the subject of due to its cozy relationship with the Chinese government.
The most obvious impact has been the-- Huawei has been forced to use an open-source version of Google's operating system on its latest phones, like the . A Huawei exec that operating without services like Play Store or apps like Chrome is "the most challenging part" of the ban. It's not known if Google is among the companies that have applied for licenses.
US companies were allowed to keep selling equipment to Huawei under a, but that's this month. In October, a report said Trump to kick off the process of approving licenses.
Neither the Commerce Department, Google nor Huawei immediately responded to requests for comment.
First published at 3:07 a.m. PT.
Updated at 4:19 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.