Microsoft receives license to export 'mass-market' software to Huawei

Huawei MateBook 13
Huawei MateBook 13 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce granted Microsoft a license to export "mass-market software."
  • Microsoft did not specify which software it may sell to Huawei.
  • Some speculate that the license will likely allow Microsoft to sell licenses for Windows to Huawei.

Microsoft can now export certain software to Huawei following the U.S. Department of Commerce granting a new license to Microsoft (via Reuters). Microsoft did not specify which pieces of software it can now export to Huawei, but the company's statement mentioned "mass-market software." Some believe that this new license will allow Huawei to ship devices running Windows 10 again.

Microsoft shared a statement to Reuters announcing the new license, "On November 20, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted Microsoft's request for a license to export mass-market software to Huawei. We appreciate the Department's action in response to our request." According to Reuters, the Commerce Department has begun granting licenses to multiple companies to sell goods to Huawei. A U.S. official told Reuters that the government has processed about half of the 300 license requests it has received, and that it has approved about half of those, including Microsoft's.

Microsoft President Brad Smith weighs in on Huawei and the US government

Microsoft's statement does not specify which types of software the company can now sell to Huawei, and Microsoft did not clarify their statement. The U.S. Department of Commerce did not comment on the issue either. Reuters spoke with Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, who said that the license is likely for the Windows operating system. If that is the case, it would bring Huawei one step closer to selling laptops running Windows.

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at