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Huawei crackdown

Docomo resumes Huawei sales after Trump's 90-day reprieve

Mobile carrier will take preorders for P30 Pro, ahead of September release

An ad for Huawei's P30 in Bangkok. DoCoMo will begin selling the device in September.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Top Japanese mobile carrier NTT Docomo will start taking preorders again for Huawei Technologies devices, reversing a monthslong suspension after Washington gave the Chinese tech group a reprieve from sanctions.

Docomo and other Asian carriers distanced themselves from Huawei after it was put on a U.S. export blacklist in May. But on Monday, the Trump administration added 90 days to a temporary license allowing suppliers to do business with the company.

"The decision was made in part because the U.S. Commerce Department extended the grace period for Huawei," a Docomo representative said.

Starting Wednesday, Docomo will take orders for the P30 Pro, one of Huawei's newest high-end phones. The device is expected to go on sale in September.

Huawei phones run on Google's Android operating system, which is subject to the sanctions. But the U.S. is allowing Huawei to have temporary access to software and components needed to maintain existing networks, as well as the security of the devices.

The grace period was originally set to end Monday but will now run through Nov. 18. It is unclear whether Huawei will retain access to updated versions of Android after then.

"We have determined that customers will not face any problems at this stage," Docomo said. At the same time, the company pledges to "take appropriate action if there is a change to the situation."

Docomo rivals KDDI and SoftBank also said in May that they would postpone the launch of new Huawei handsets. But both rolled out the P30 lite on Aug. 8, with SoftBank offering it to users of the cheaper Ymobile service.

After the carriers announced their plans, President Jun Sawada of Docomo parent Nippon Telegraph & Telephone expressed concern that taking orders for Huawei phones now, amid the friction between China and the U.S., would "cause problems for customers."

"We shared information with NTT and decided to resume" accepting preorders, a Docomo representative said.

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