(Pocket-lint) - As you might know, Huawei has been the subject of an ongoing US trade ban that has prevented the Chinese conglomerate from accessing many technologies it needs to make chips to power its telecom gear and smartphones. 

Now, however, the sands may be shifting. 

The US has granted Qualcomm - a US firm, of course - a licence to supply Huawei with 4G chips so it can continue manufacturing phones. Qualcomm confirmed that yes, it was now allowed to sell the chips. "We received a license for a number of products, which includes some 4G products," a Qualcomm spokesperson told Reuters.

Further applications have also been made to the US Government by Qualcomm - presumably, this also includes 5G modem chips and also Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs - we know that Huawei is running out of its own Kirin chip supply. The US introduced even stronger restrictions on Huawei in September, clocking its access to chip manufacturing gear, even in the US. 

The interesting thing is what this could mean for Huawei on an ongoing basis - will the Chinese company be allowed to buy products from US companies but not sell its wares - notably 5G telecoms equipment - in the US? Also it's an open question how the US will change its stance under the incoming administration now that the Trump era is drawing to a close.

US pressure undoubtedly also convinced the UK to also ban Huawei 5G equipment, too. 

Intel and Microsoft already have licenses to supply Huawei. 

Writing by Dan Grabham.