Huawei laptops quietly return to the Microsoft Store, though the federal ban remains in place Credit: MicrosoftSupplied Art
Business Management

Huawei laptops quietly return to the Microsoft Store, though the federal ban remains in place

In May, Huawei laptops mysteriously vanished from the Microsoft online store without explanation. Now, in mid-June, they’ve returned.

Microsoft now lists the Matebook X Pro laptop, the Huawei Matebook D, and the Huawei Matebook 13 53010F. All seem to be available, though a version of the Matebook X Pro with a Core i5 and a 256GB SSD is listed as out of stock. (A version with a Core i7 is available.) To date, Microsoft has yet to comment on its relationship with Huawei or the sales (or lack thereof) of its products. 

It’s never been exactly clear how American technology companies are treating Huawei. Fueled by a Trump Administration executive order, Huawei, a leading global smartphone maker, faces being cut off by Android OS supplier Google and other component vendors, including Intel, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. Microsoft, as a supplier to Huawei of Windows updates and other security features, has yet to comment publicly on whether it’s enforcing the ban.

Company representatives did say, however, that what Microsoft is selling in the store is just the "current inventory". "We have been evaluating, and will continue to respond to, the many business, technical and regulatory complexities stemming from the recent addition of Huawei to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations Entity List," a Microsoft representative said in an emailed statement. "As a result, we are resuming the sale of existing inventory of Huawei devices at Microsoft Store."

Even executives at leading technology companies have been close-mouthed, including AMD chief executive Lisa Su, who said last month at Computex that the company was “abiding by the U.S. regulations.” Su never actually confirmed that AMD was suspending sales of its components to Huawei. (Though Huawei is still banned from buying U.S. technology, it has a 90-day reprieve from the Department of Commerce to service existing users dating back to May.)

Though Best Buy has stopped selling Huawei phones and laptops, Amazon has not. Like other vendors, Amazon has not commented on its decision.

Huawei reportedly canceled the launch of a laptop at CES Asia following the Trump order, The Information reported. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Huawei could suffer as much as a $30 billion hit from the Trump administration’s decision. 

This story was updated at 3:59 PM PT with additional comment from Microsoft.

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